Russian-language education needs both preservation as well as protection against Estonianization, which the president could help achieve, the nonprofit Russian School in Estonia wrote in a public letter to President Kersti Kaljulaid on Saturday.
"Destruction of Russian-language education is one of the most acute problems in our country," wrote Mstislav Rusakov, board chairman of the nonprofit. "Our proposal for you is to pay special attention to this sore point and maybe to take it under the president's special oversight. We on our part are ready to propose ways how to potentially solve this issue successfully."
The appeal criticized former President Toomas Hendrik Ilves' attitudes toward the issue: "Your predecessor in this post consistently ignored our collective complaints and appeals and allowed himself disrespectful utterances regarding the Russian community besides by calling the native language of one-third of the residents of Estonia the 'language of occupiers.' In intentionally placing himself in the opposition with a large portion of his people, the former president did not win respect and understanding among the Russian[-language] community."
Rusakov expressed hope that Kaljulaid will pay more heed as president to the voice of her fellow citizens and that they will succeed in establishing effective dialogue with the president.
"It means dialogue between the president and a significant portion of the people of Estonia," Rusakov highlighted. "Double standards destroy every system because they undermine from inside the criteria based on which unity is possible in a living body — in society. Our society is far from unified."
According to Rusakov, the situation that the country is finding itself in now can be improved only through the state abandoning the direct and legislatively approved injustice that is befalling the Russian-speaking population.
Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla