MOSCOW, August 12. /TASS/. Latvia's calls to stop issuing tourist visas to Russians and statements about recognizing Russia as a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ are yet another manifestation of Russophobia, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on Thursday in connection with the provocative decision of the Parliament of Latvia (the Saeima).
"We consider the statement of the Latvian Seima on 'recognition' of the Russian Federation as a 'state sponsor of terrorism' with an appeal to stop issuing tourist visas to Russians as yet another manifestation of Russophobia, which has long become a 'tuning fork' of Latvian foreign policy," the ministry said.
The Foreign Ministry noted that "this move by Latvia’s highest legislative body brazenly breaches effective international law and violates the principle of the sovereign equality of states enshrined in Part 1, Article 2 of the UN Charter". The Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that "such an impudent and self-assured classing of unwanted countries in a special category is in line with the course pursued by the collective West to replace the universal norms and principles of international law with the so-called rule-based order, where Riga is assigned to play a pawn in the hands of its overseas masters".
The Russian Foreign Ministry noted that the statement "was adopted by the parliament of a country whose authorities openly glorify Nazism, indulge Nazi accomplices and encourage sending their own citizens as mercenaries to Ukraine, where they fight as part of Kiev-controlled neo-Nazi formations on the side of the infamous Azov battalion (outlawed in Russia - TASS), known for its terrorist methods".
"The baseless accusations against Russia come from a state that is under enhanced monitoring by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)," the ministry pointed out, "As we know, Latvia's national system of combating the financing of terrorism and money laundering is far from meeting international standards. Riga has to report annually on progress in correcting its strategic deficiencies in this area. In contrast to this Baltic state, Russia was given the highest rating for the effectiveness of the national anti-money laundering system by the FATF Mutual Evaluations in 2019."
Russia called on Latvian parliamentarians to stop engaging in provocations and focus on the interests of their country and its citizens. "Latvian parliamentarians should stop engaging in provocations and think about who elected them, focusing primarily on the interests of their country and their citizens," the Russian Foreign Ministry added.