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Minister of Rural Affairs replied to the interpellation concerning bilingualism in an official information campaign of the ministry

The interpellators referred to the fact that the Ministry of Rural Affairs had sent out press releases in Russian in connection with the fishing ports day held at the end of April. The interpellators wished to know why the Ministry of Rural Affairs as a governmental authority of the Republic of Estonia where Estonian was the language of administration sent out press releases in Russian to the Estonian media and public.

Tamm explained that Estonian was the official language of administration of Estonian state authorities. Press releases are also mostly sent out in Estonian and, if necessary, also in English or Russian. “The information of a state authority has to reach the people who live in the country as effectively as possible. This is the idea of any information activity of the state,” Tamm said. He noted that therefore many state authorities had websites in three languages, for example, the Riigikogu, the Government of the Republic, ministries, the Tax and Customs Board, etc. State authorities such as the Riigikogu, the Government of the Republic and ministries issue also press releases in three languages as necessary for years already. All larger Estonian media groups have also Russian editorial offices and publications – “Postimees”, “Rus.Postimees.ee”, “Delfi Rus.Delfi.ee”, and the Public Broadcasting television channel “ETV+” which, as is known, is funded with taxpayers’ money and which is a public Russian channel, may be mentioned as examples here.

Tamm said that the Ministry of Rural Affairs respected all journalists and did not think that their knowledge of Estonian was insufficient. Making a press release in English or Russian helps information to spread more quickly when necessary. He explained that the Ministry of Rural Affairs was not pursuing a hidden bilingualism policy.

The Minister of Public Administration Mihhail Korb replied to the interpellation concerning the role of local authorities in the protection of population (No. 356).

Member of the Riigikogu Tarmo Kruusimäe took his oath of office.

During the open microphone, Mihhail Stalnuhhin took the floor.

The sitting ended at 4.45 p.m.

Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian):

Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu

(NB! The recording will be uploaded with a delay.)

Riigikogu Press Service
Gunnar Paal,
6316351, 51902837
[email protected]
Questions: [email protected]