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Statements by Latvia’s top diplomat his personal view, not country’s stance — Latvian PM

April 07, 2015, 13:36 UTC+3 RIGA

Latvia’s Prime Minister made this comment regarding the statement of Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics inTwitter that Russia would end up like Germany in the first half of the 20th century

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Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma

Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma

© AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert

RIGA, April 7. /TASS/. Harsh remarks by Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics with regard to Russia are his personal opinion rather than Latvia’s official stance, Latvia’s Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma told Latvian television on Tuesday.

"It’s difficult for me to talk about the reasons why he wrote that. I myself read his statement in Twitter yesterday. It was too strong a statement. But this is his personal opinion," the premier said. "Of course, the foreign minister officially represents the opinion of Latvia. But I emphasize that this is a view expressed in social networks, not Latvia’s official stance but a personal opinion of Edgars Rinkevics. I was even surprised when I read it. Today we’ll discuss with him what he writes in social networks," she added.

The day before Rinkevics wrote in his Twitter microblog that Russia would end up like Germany in the first half of the 20th century.

Anti-Russian statements of foreign politicians should not be left without an adequate response on the part of Russia, Chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee Alexey Pushkov told the Gorovit Moskva radio station on Monday.

"I don’t think we should let foreign politicians to say things like that without consequences for these politicians, for example, in terms of their admission to the territory of Russia, that’s to say the least," said lawmaker said.

He added that in this case retaliatory measures might extend to a country, whose official stance a politician represents. "If this person officially represents the state, this state should bear responsibility for his words," Pushkov said, noting that in this case he expressed his personal point of view.

"When the Latvian Foreign Ministers takes the liberty to come up with such statements (comparing Russia to the Third Reich), he must realize that this may evoke retaliatory measures on the part of Russia, which will deal a serious blow to Latvia’s interests — economic, trade and otherwise," the Russian lawmaker said. "I think that we must reciprocate, not necessarily by statements, but by steps that show that every word uttered has a price," he added.

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