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Lawmaker urges retaliation for Latvia’s move to designate Russia as sponsor of terrorism

Dmitry Novikov noted that this was no news for Russian officials

MOSCOW, August 11. /TASS/. Moscow should retaliate to the decision by Latvia’s parliament to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, and the Russian Foreign Ministry could have already drafted countermeasures, Dmitry Novikov, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, told TASS on Thursday.

"The decision by Latvia’s Saeima was not spontaneous - Latvian politicians have been discussing making such a decision, they have been taking consecutive steps towards this, and they were quite fast to arrive there. <…> This would certainly require a Russian response," the senior lawmaker said.

"This is no news for Russian officials, and I am confident that the Foreign Ministry has been drafting proposals on how to react to these developments, and I am sure there will be a reaction," he added.

Latvia once again demonstrated willingness to "get ahead of itself" in an attempt to make decisions "that would please Washington, but that Washington itself has not yet dared make," the Russian parliamentarian said.

Novikov said he found it strange that those who had declared their readiness to cooperate with Russia in order to ensure their energy security could, on the other hand, come up with such "blatant decisions."

Earlier on Thursday, the parliament of Latvia (the Saeima) declared Russia a state sponsor of terrorism, according to a statement published on its website. Latvian parliamentarians also called on the EU to immediately suspend the issuance of visas to Russian and Belarusian citizens and claimed that Russia "has for many years supported and financed terrorist regimes and organizations in various ways — directly and indirectly.".