Latvian Saeima approved amendments to the law limiting broadcasting in the Russian language

KIEV. June 11. UNN. The Seimas (Parliament) of Latvia on Thursday in the third and final reading has approved the legislative amendments, under which a number of television programmes in the official languages of the EU and European economic area (EEA) in the Republic will be increased, thus the share of broadcasting in Russian was reduced. About it reports a press-service of the legislature, writes UNN.

According to the adopted to the law on electronic media, amendments to the basic proposal cameramen also, we will include programs that in the past three years was forbidden to relay the decision of the National Council for electronic media that controls the activity of television and radiodetermination. The legislative amendments will enter into force on 1 July 2021.

“Channels must not be available in the package of channels cable operators and other TV providers,” — said the head of the Commission of the Saeima human rights and public Affairs Artus’sh, where considered appropriate amendments.

The President of Latvia Egils levitra on 11 February this year was sent to the Commission of the Saeima human rights and public Affairs a proposal to amend the law on electronic media to increase in the main package of TV channels the number of transfers in the official languages of the EU and the EEA. In particular, he proposed to expand the requirements for relays of foreign television channels so that the share of Russian-language broadcasting was not more than 20%. Relevant legislative amendments the head of state motivated by the need “to strengthen the information space of Latvia”.

Strongly against such a proposal was made by a local company “For legitimate content!”, representing the largest telecommunication service providers. The organization considers that the relevant legislative amendment supposedly would lead to piracy. Criticism of this initiative was subjected to the Russian Embassy in Latvia, saying that “in an age of high technology, all attempts to censor and restrict the information space use.”

Latvia is home to just over 1.9 million people, 40% of which is Russian-speaking population. The only official language in the Republic is Latvian, but Russian and all others are considered to be foreign. In 2012, activists in a national referendum attempted to granting the Russian language the second state, but the majority of citizens did not support this initiative.