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Latvia’s Russians protest against escalating EU-Russia tensions

August 18, 2014, 18:02 UTC+3 RIGA
The picket was organized by activists of Latvia’s Russian Union political party
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Members of the Latvian Russian Union seen in riga (archive)

Members of the Latvian Russian Union seen in riga (archive)

© EPA/VALDA KALNINA

RIGA, August 18. /ITAR-TASS/. A protest against escalating tensions with Russia took place in the Latvian capital city of Riga on Monday ahead of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to the country.

The picket was organized by activists of Latvia’s Russian Union political party, formerly known as the party For Human Rights in a United Latvia, which was aiming to urge the EU leaders, German chancellor and Latvian government among them, to start de-escalating the conflict with Russia.

Protesters gathered outside the German embassy in Riga at noon carrying posters stating “No to Sanctions War”, “The European Union not a US satellite”, and “Frau Merkel, stop the War in Ukraine”.

“Our action is aimed at drawing attention of European countries in the person of Angela Merkel to the need of reanimating relations with Russia and cancelling sanctions as soon as possible, for they affect the republic’s economy in general and Latvian manufacturers in particular”, the party’s co-chairman Miroslav Mitrofanov told ITAR-TASS.

Organizers of the protest said they were sure that Russia’s retaliatory sanctions would not affect German stable economy as much as Latvian, which was extremely vulnerable to any external shocks.

“We are appealing to Merkel to influence her counterparts in the EU and to have the sanctions lifted as soon as possible,” Mitrofanov said, adding that the chancellor could also urge the Latvian leadership to refrain from making aggressive statements about Russia.

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