RIGA, June 15. /TASS/. Russian embassy in Riga has asked to arrange a meeting with two Russian nationals arrested last week for entering a military base as Latvia was taking part in NATO military drills, a spokesman for the Russian diplomatic mission told TASS on Monday.
After unofficial sources said on June 10 that two Russian citizens had been caught illegally entering a military base in Adazi, the Russian embassy took steps to obtain official confirmation from Latvian authorities, the spokesman said.
"The Latvian Security Police confirmed that on June 10 two Russian nationals, young men born in 1989 and 1983, had been detained while entering the Adazi training center. The Security Police’s investigation department launched a criminal case on charges stipulated by article 15, part 4, article 88, part 3 and article 85, part 1 of the Latvian Criminal Law. According to the Security Police, our citizens are accused of tipping off classified information, stealing or collecting information for foreign intelligence services with an aim of using such information to the prejudice of Latvia’s interests. They are also accused of an attempted terrorist attack by means of entering the Adazi base by previous concert," the embassy said.
"The embassy has taken measures to organize a meeting with the two detained men to control observance of their rights and ensure legal assistance," the embassy spokesman said.
The Latvian armed forces said on June 10 that two holders of Russian passports had been detained by law enforcers during an intrusion into the territory of the Adazi army training facility where the exercise codenamed Sabre Strike was held. Eduard Limonov, a former leader of Russia’s National Bolshevik Party (NBP) and now the leader of the non-registered party Other Russia, said on the same day the two young men were NBP activists.
On June 12, Riga’s Vidzeme court ruled to arrest the two men, Andrei Popko and Alexander Kurkin. A criminal case was opened. Popko and Kurkin were charged with espionage and attempted terrorist attack committed by a group of persons by previous concert. The accusation carries a punishment of up to 20 year behind bars or a life sentence.