ERR's US correspondent reports that a Russian diplomat quoted by Reuters as voicing concern over Estonian policies as compared to Ukraine mentioned the countries in a different context.
"Language should not be used to segregate and isolate groups,“ the diplomat was quoted by Reuters as saying, adding that Russia is concerned about the steps taken in Estonia and Ukraine in that direction. The diplomat was initially not named.
The Reuters report was based on a faulty summary of the speech in the UN, uudised.err.ee said.
According to ERR’s Washington correspondent Lauri Tankler, the diplomat Roman Kashayev did criticize Estonia and Latvia for their policies for Russian language education, but it was separate from his attack on the apparent discrimination of Russians in Ukraine.
Russia has criticized Estonian education policies on numerous instances before, but the Reuters story is apparently based on an erroneous summary of the UN meeting, with the reference to Latvia omitted and a comparison made between the situation in Estonia and Ukraine added.
The story got significant coverage in US media on Wednesday, with Estonian NATO membership and the alliance’s possible reaction brought up repeatedly.
A representative of Ukraine said UN experts have found no evidence of mistreatment of Russian minorities in Ukraine, and asked in reply how the Ukrainian minority is being treated in the Crimea.
Ukraine is planning to annul a law that grants the Russian-language a special status in the nation, with Russia saying the move aims to 'prevent the use of Russian,' while Estonia recently crossed over to a demand that all upper secondary schools in the nation teach at least 60 percent of subjects in Estonian.