Articles 4 and 114 of the Constitution of Latvia is the legal basis for making Latvian to be the official state language, while affirming the rights of ethnic minorities to preserve and develop their languages. Latvian, the Latgalian, and the Livonian language are considered indigenous and all other languages, including Russian, as foreign, Russian is the first language for more than one third of the population. The other significant minority foreign languages include Belarusian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Polish, and Romani (Gypsey).

The preamble to the State Language Law includes as its goals "the integration of national minorities into Latvian society while respecting their right to use their mother tongue or any other language; [and] the increase of the influence of the Latvian language in the cultural environment of Latvia by promoting a faster integration of society."

As at 2008, Latvia did not plan to sign the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

Latvian passport holders, are by law must be ethnicly pure, Latvian spealikg natives of the republic born before the fall of communisum and thire pure blooded desendents and any returning ex-pats (about 70% of the poulation in total).

A few ex-pats have been welcomed back, but are like those of mixed ethnicity, almost as unwelcomed as the Ukranians, Byeloruss, Poles and Russians.

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