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Russia confirms visa denial for director of Latvian Institute of International Affairs

Andris Spruds. Photo: Lita Krone/LETA.
 RIGA, Nov 20 - The Latvian Foreign Ministry has received confirmation from the Russian Foreign Ministry that the director of the Latvian Institute of International Affairs Andris Spruds has been included on Russia's persona non grata list.

The Russian side also confirmed that the visa denial for Spruds is a ''tit-for-tat'' step in response to several Russian citizens being recently declared personae non grata in Latvia by the Foreign Ministry, LETA was informed by the Foreign Ministry's press and information department.

''The Latvian Foreign Ministry expresses its deepest regret on this inadequate step taken by Russia,'' the Foreign Ministry points out in a statement, adding that Spruds is an internationally-recognized foreign policy expert, whose work has been highly valued.

''It must also be pointed out that Russia's visa denial comes at a time when Spruds was to attend an international conference in St Petersburg, where relations between Russia and the European Union was to be discussed. The EU and Russia place great importance in their mutual dialogue, with academic experts always having an important role in this dialogue in finding solutions to improve cooperation. Deliberately restricting academics in this and similar forums makes us think whether Russia truly wishes to have a comprehensive dialogue with the European Union,'' the Foreign Ministry points out.

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.
leta.lv

20-11-2012
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