Thursday, 18 December 2008
Estonia campaign to persuade Russians to change their surnames
Another indication of the ethnic nationalist character of the Estonian government. The authorities in Tallinn are drafting legislation aimed at persuading ethnic Russians to change their surnames. This type of ‘integration policy’ in Baltic States is rarely remarked upon in the British press, despite its unpleasant character. If a minority, comprising 25% of a country’s population, were treated in the fashion Russians have been treated in Estonia and Latvia, in Western Europe, would the media react with such equanimity? Discrimination against Russians is normally given a by-ball in terms of media opinion and any discontent amongst the Russian population in these countries can then be conveniently blamed on Moscow interference.