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On 14 February 2024, the Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., of the Embassy of the Russian Federation, Oleg Zykov, is being summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia in order to receive his explanations concerning a publicly accessible list of former and current public officials of Latvia against whom politically motivated charges had been brought by Russia.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in contact with the law enforcement authorities of Latvia to verify the publicly announced information and reduce eventual risks. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also working with the European Union partners to address the matter at the global level.

As early as in December 2022, when it was reported that the Investigative Committee of Russia had initiated criminal cases and inspections regarding the Law on the Prohibition of Exhibiting Items Glorifying the Soviet and Nazi Regimes and Their Dismantling in the Territory of the Republic of Latvia passed by the Saeima (the Latvian Parliament), and its enforcement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs officially informed the Russian side of the Ministry’s strong objection against the efforts of Russia to exercise its national criminal jurisdiction in the territory of another state. The Foreign Ministry has underlined that Russia’s attempts at exercising extraterritorial criminal jurisdiction must be regarded as intervention in the domestic affairs of Latvia and being at variance with the Charter of the United Nations.

The Ministry has also repeatedly informed Latvian public authorities about this situation, advising current and former officials to carefully consider the necessity of travelling abroad outside the EU and NATO. When a possible visit is being considering to a country, including in transit, the Ministry recommends to evaluate how close the relations and legal cooperation of the country are with Russia, as well as the level of human rights protection in that country.

The Ministry will continue to keep up, with EU and NATO partners and with other countries in the framework of international organisations, the issue of Russia’s politically motivated cases and extraterritorial targeting of the citizens of Latvia and other countries.