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Russia-Latvia relations at their lowest in past 20 years — ambassador

July 05, 2016, 19:07 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Latvia has a rather tough position on issues of the sanction policy, Russia's ambassador says

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 Russian Ambassador to Latvia Alexander Veshnyakov

Russian Ambassador to Latvia Alexander Veshnyakov


MOSCOW, July 5. /TASS/. Relations between Russia and Latvia are now at their lowest in the past 20 years, Russian Ambassador to that country Alexander Veshnyakov told TASS on Tuesday.

"Our relations are difficult, the most unsatisfactory in the past 20 years," he said. "Latvia has a rather tough position on issues of the sanction policy. Not even it supports the European sanctions, it initiates them from time to time."

Apart from that, in his words, Latvia does not share Russia’s approaches to the conflict in Ukraine.

"Russophobes are very active now among Latvian politicians and journalists," the Russian diplomat noted. "Regrettably, we have heard no initiatives concerning normalization of political dialogue with Russia from the Latvian authorities. Currently however they are demonstrating growing cautiousness - whereas some time ago Riga was pushing the European Union to impose sanctions, now it seems to be demonstrating a more prudent approach to that issue."

Touching on Latvia’s attempts to lay claims for the so-called "Soviet occupation," Veshnyakov said that such position is "destructive and futile."

"Those who indulge in such activities are simply wasting their time and effort on wrong things," he said. "The Latvian authorities should be well aware that the Russian side looks upon this subject as an absolutely futile one."

"The same can be said about the counterproductive for the bilateral relations initiative to demolish the monument of Soviet liberator soldiers in Riga," he said. "I hope we will not witness another ugly business like the one around the demolition of the monument to Soviet soldiers killed in WWII in Estonia."

The Russian diplomat noted that "attempt to remove this monument have been taken for decades." Once, an attempt was made to blow it up, an unsuccessful one, he said. "The latest burst of such attempts happened two years ago and now the situation has aggravated again as some forces in Latvia cannot accept that hundreds of thousands of people in Latvia celebrate May 9 as the day of victory over absolute evil - Nazi Germany," Veshnyakov said. "Russophobes think that the monument which brings together people is to be removed from that square.".

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