Latvia declares Russia a terrorist state; Moscow speaks about xenophobia

The Latvian Parliament adopted this Thursday (11) a declaration that classifies Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism and encourages other countries to adopt similar initiatives, as well as asking the European Union (EU) to stop issuing tourist visas to Russian and Belarusian citizens.

The statement was adopted by parliamentarians by a score of 67 votes in favour, none against and abstention only from the deputies of the social-democratic Harmony party, from the opposition to the government of the Baltic country.

The text refers to the invasion of Ukraine and the actions of the Russian Armed Forces in the neighboring country as the main reason to consider it a terrorist state.

The text also highlights “Russia’s long-standing support for terrorist regimes and organizations and their funding.”

“Russia is the biggest supplier of weapons to the regime Assad in Syria and carried out attacks in sovereign countries, including the poisoning of the Skripal family in the UK and the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17, which killed

people,” the statement emphasizes.

Latvian lawmakers recalled Russian attacks on civilian targets, “including a deliberate attack on a theater in Mariupol that killed about

people, missile attacks on a residential area near Odesa that killed at least 21 and an attack on a shopping center in Kremenchuk that killed 298 civilians.”

The statement also cites a missile attack on port facilities in Odesa the day after an agreement to allow grain exports from that Ukrainian city took effect.

As for tourist visas, the Latvian Embassy in Moscow has already stopped issuing them to Russian citizens, except for people attending funerals of close relatives.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Maria Zakharova, accused the Latvian Parliament of being guided by “xenophobia” in approving the declaration.

“If we take into account that there are no facts, apart from an animalistic xenophobia , on which this decision is based, its ideologues can only be called neo-Nazis”, wrote the diplomat on her channel on the Telegram messaging platform.

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