“Language is a medium. I don’t see any reason to fight against languages. The Russian language itself is a cultural language,” Karis noted. “And Russian, unfortunately, you have to start learning before other languages, because it has a different alphabet and is more difficult to master. At least that’s what the teachers say. There is no reason to fight against languages, just as there is no reason to fight against Russian literature.”
He noted that attitudes towards the language are changing, for example, Ukrainians who previously spoke it are abandoning Russian, “but this is a passing phenomenon.” At the same time, literature, including Russian, should be studied “according to its time”, even if it “does not correspond to the current understanding of how we would like to see the world.”
In December, Estonia adopted a law on the transition of education in the country to the Estonian language. From September 1, 2024, kindergartens and primary schools will change it, and until September 2029, the proportion of a non-state language (most often Russian) in gymnasiums and training schools professional cannot exceed 40%. By 2032, education in grade 12 must be completely organized in Estonian.
In Estonia, the native language of about every third inhabitant is Russian, in the case of Tallinn, it is the native language of every second. The permanent Russian-speaking population of the country is more than 300 thousand people, or about 23% of the population.