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The Chairman of the Cultural Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Peeter Kreitzberg met with the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia and related intolerance Doudou Diène, who will compile a relevant report on the Baltic states. 

Diène studied the existence of ethnic discrimination in Estonia, the problems related to national minorities and the historical and cultural basis of such problems. Diène pointed to the vast number of non-citizens in Estonia as one of the sources of the problems, as he sees it. He took an interest in the symbolic meaning of the Bronze Statue to the local population. He also inquired after the situation of the Roma and asked whether Moslems are discriminated against in the framework of fight against terrorism. 

Kreitzberg described the problems related to local national minorities, especially the Russian-speaking population, as arising from a complicated mixture of political, social and personal aspects. Kreitzberg admitted that the Russian-speaking population has many personal and social issues which obstruct their integration into the Estonian society, but at the same time pointed out that Russia uses these issues for political purposes in order to interfere in Estonia’s internal affairs. Kreitzberg assured that there is no direct ethnic discrimination in Estonia. 

Kreitzberg described the positive developments in the integration process and referred to the Law on Cultural Autonomy for National Minorities as well as to the long tradition of promoting the culture of national minorities. According to Kreitzberg, this has given rise to 18 umbrella organisations uniting cultural societies of national minorities and 203 organisations uniting different ethnic groups. 

Kreitzberg is not aware of any problems concerning the Roma or Moslems in Estonia.

The Press Service