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Latvia to impose criminal liability for serving in foreign armed forces

August 09, 18:58 UTC+3 RIGA
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RIGA, August 9. /TASS/. Latvian citizens may face criminal liability for serving in the armed forces or security services of foreign countries other than member states of the European Union and NATO, according amendments to the country’s Criminal Code adopted by the government on Tuesday.

Service in the armed forces, internal troops, paramilitary organizations, security and intelligence services and police of foreign countries will carry a jail sentence of up to four years, correctional labor or a fine. "These amendments are yet to be passed by the Saeima (parliament)," Latvia’s Defense Ministry Spokeswoman Daina Ozolina told TASS.

The amendments are not applicable to service in the armies of member countries of the European Union, NATO, the European Free Trade Association, Australia, Brazil and New Zealand. Apart from that, Latvians having dual citizenship will be exempt from punishment for serving in the armed forces of the country of their second citizenship.

Earlier, local mass media said that several dozens of Latvian volunteers were fighting in eastern Ukraine for the militias of the self-proclaimed republics. Latvian Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis said such activities could be construed as terrorism.

Latvia’s security police in June referred case materials to the Riga prosecutor’s office against a Latvian national suspected of taking part in the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.

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