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Director of Latvian Institute of International Affairs denied Russian visa

Andris Spruds. Photo: Lita Krone/LETA.
 RIGA, Nov 20 - The director of the Latvian Institute of International Affairs - Andris Spruds, who was scheduled to attend a regional conference in St Petersburg this week, has been denied a Russian visa.

''The initial explanation was that they could not accept my documents due to technical reasons,'' Spruds told LETA.

Spruds has visited Russia on several occasions previously, including twice this year. He said that he never had problems obtaining a visa before.

The director of the Latvian Institute of International Affairs said that his visa refusal could possibly be related to Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics declaring several Russian citizens personae non grata in Latvia.

''Russia did not wish to leave this unanswered,'' Spruds said.

Spruds said that he does not know whether he will ever be allowed to enter Russia in the future. ''If I am on some kind of list, this could mean I might not be able to enter Russia for a while,'' he added.

As reported, this past August, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkrvics took a decision to declare two citizens of the Russian Federation, Modest Kolerov and Igor Palvovsky, personae non grata in the territory of Latvia.

The decision was adopted on the basis of information provided by a competent institution of Latvia regarding secret activities of Modest Kolerov and Igor Palvovsky in Latvia directed against the security interests of Latvia, including territorial integrity and economic security of the country.

Kolerov is a former advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the head of Russian news agency ''Regnum'', while Palvovsky is the deputy editor at ''Regnum''. Kolerov has already been declared personae non grata in Lithuania, Estonia and Georgia.

Furthermore, this past March, Rinkevics declared two so-called Russian ''historians'' - Alexander Dyukov and Vladimir Simindey, on Latvia's persona non grata list, and are prohibited from entering the country.

The decision was made by the Foreign Ministry after conclusions from various institutions that the actions of these men continue to damage the State of Latvia and its citizens, LETA was informed by the Foreign Ministry's press and information center.

The two so-called Kremlin ''historians'' have made their careers by continuing to propagate false historical information about Latvia.

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