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Newsline: Latvia’s Foreign Minister Asks US Embassy to Quit Using Russian Language

Latvia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgar Rinkevics has called for the US embassy to stop using Russian language in social media. Rinkevics said he understands that the information should be transmitted in different languages for more people to be able to understand it. However, using both Latvian and Russian languages in one and the same post on Twitter or Facebook “does more harm than good” as it makes it seem like the Baltic state has two official languages. In a 2012 referendum Latvians rejected the option of making Russian the country’s second official language. The minister believes that posts written in two languages “informally legitimize” what the nation had voted against. Rinkevics noted that he doesn’t mind if the same information is transmitted in different languages, if separately. The US embassy responded by promising to make adjustments to its style of communicating via social media. Press-attaché Leslie Goodman said that the embassy wants the information about the US to reach the widest possible audience in Latvia and therefore will continue using Russian, but more carefully.


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