Chairman of the Narva City Council Vladimir Zhavoronkov claims that he fights for holding meetings in Estonian, although some members of the City Council deliberately express their views at meetings in Russian.
According to Zhavoronkov, he works hard to ensure that Narva City Council meetings are held in the state language, as required by law. He noted that, nevertheless, there are deputies who intentionally speak Russian at meetings, although they know Estonian as well.
“This is purely for political reasons,” he commented to ERR.
In such a situation, deputies were approached and asked to state their views in Estonian.
“As one of the solutions, I consider using the services of an interpreter at meetings of the assembly, as all deputies have the right to take the floor, and I can’t forbid them to do so,” Zhavoronkov added.
According to the chairman of the City Council, he wanted to discuss the issue with the Chancellor of Law, but Yulle Madise allegedly did not find time for him.
This week, Chancellor of Law, Julle Madise, assessed the August 15 meeting of the Narva City Council, which was held in Russian. In her response, Madise explained that according to the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia, the language of office work of state and local government institutions is Estonian.
The Chancellor of Justice pointed out that article 11 of the Language Act states that in the local governments, where the language of the majority of permanent residents is not Estonian, at the suggestion of the local governments and the decision of the Government of the Republic of Estonia, the language of the majority of permanent residents of the local government can also be used as the language of communication.
“As far as the Chancellor of Law is aware, the government of the Republic has not taken such a decision about Narva City,” Madise noted.