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RIGA, October 19 /TASS/. Sanctions cannot affect Russia’s cultural exchanges with foreign countries including Latvia, Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky told TASS on Saturday.
"Culture is beyond sanctions,” Medinsky said recalling ,however, that Ukraine had banned two Russian films “The White Guard” (based on a novel of the same name by 20th-century Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov) and “Poddubny (which tells the story of Russian and Soviet professional wrestler and athlete Ivan Poddubny).
“I am sorry for the people of Ukraine because they are depriving themselves of an opportunity to see good films,” the Russian culture minister said. He added that hopefully the Ukrainian authorities would not go as far as forbidding the works of 19th-century Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko who wrote his diaries in Russian and published his poems in the Ukrainian dialect or the 19th-th century Ukrainian-born Russian writer Nikolai Gogol who did not write a single word in Ukrainian.
Medinsky also said he did not see why the sanctions should affect the cultural ties between Russia and Latvia.
“Our cultural cooperation is on the rise,” the Russian culture minister said adding the Golden Mask in Latvia international theatrical festival was a good example of that cooperation.
“On the contrary, we hope to increase the number of performances in Latvia and Estonia. Perhaps, we will go to Lithuania next year,” Medinsky said.
The International Golden Mask in Latvia festival takes places on October 13-18. The festival is included in an inter-state programme of cultural exchanges between Latvia and Russia and is one of the biggest Latvian-Russian humanitarian projects. Its aim is to acquaint the Latvian public with the best Russian dramatic and puppet performances as well as ballets and operas that have either won or have been nominated to the National Theatrical Award - the Golden Mask. The festival is also supposed to promote a professional exchange of views between theatrical workers in both countries.