When the subject is Estonia, Russians say that ethnic Russians living in Estonia (remnants of Soviet occupation and oppression) shouldn't be forced to learn the Estonian language as a condition of their presence in the country. Yet, Russians have no problem imposinga Russian language requirement on non-Russian speakers in their own country! Australia's Herald Sun reports:
RUSSIAN immigration chiefs yesterday proposed compulsory language tests for foreigners wanting to work in Russia, the latest in a series of measures to tighten up on immigration.
A huge influx of migrant workers, many of them Muslims from ex-Soviet republics, has caused resentment inside Russia and many policy-makers say it has contributed to a spate of racially motivated attacks. The Federal Migration Service said it supported a draft law written by two pro-Kremlin members of parliament that would set a language test for anyone planning to work in Russia for more than one year. “We have an interest in this and support the lawmakers' initiative,” the service said. “It is obvious that without knowledge of the Russian language it is impossible to integrate into Russian society.” Several Western states have language requirements in their immigration rules. But in most cases it is only people seeking permanent residency, or skilled workers, who need to sit a language test. Alexander Krutov, a lawmaker with the pro-Kremlin Just Russia party and one of the two authors of the draft law, said the only exception would be for foreigners working in Russia for foreign firms. He said all other would-be migrant workers should sit a test on their proficiency in Russian within three months of arriving. If they fail, they will not be allowed to work and will be given the option of sitting the test again. “Knowing the Russian language ... will lead to a reduction in the level of xenophobia and ethnic tension because a person will be able to explain and understand what is wanted from him and what is going on around him,” Krutov said. To become law, the proposal would have to be approved by both houses of Parliament and President Vladimir Putin. Russia has revamped its immigration rules to deal with the large numbers of foreigners wanting to work in its booming economy. The new measures streamlined procedures for people seeking temporary work permits. But they also barred foreigners from working in outdoor markets, a sector dominated by immigrants from ex-Soviet states such as Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan.Publius Pundit has more.