UK ambassador in Latvia visits Daugavpils

The British Ambassador to Latvia, Paul Brummell, visited the second-largest Latvian city Daugavpils on June 10, LSM's Russian language service reports.

Daugavpils, located near the Russian and Belarusian border, has the highest proportion of Russian speakers among all cities in Latvia.

"Great Britain and Latvia are good partners, I hope they always will be," Paul Brummell said in a conversation with "Great Britain supports," added the Ambassador, adding that without, the risks of Kremlin propaganda would increase. He said he was aware of the idea of abolishing Russian-language public media.

Ambassador Brummell came unofficially to see the Daugavpils Theater's performance "Lies without Rules" (directed by Oļegs Šapošņikovs) as part of Theatre Festival and to take part in the post-show discussion. The production, which premiered last April, was created with the support of the British Embassy and is the first joint project of the artistic collective and the diplomatic mission.

Before visiting the theatre, the British Ambassador visited the local Jewish community. There he was welcomed by

When asked by what trends in Latvian public life were particularly important to him as a diplomat, Paul Brummell (in quite good Russian) replied: "The war has changed our lives since February 24, 2022, when the Russian aggression against Ukraine began. Latvia immediately announced its support for Ukraine. The UK and Latvia are on the same page and to this day we are working together on this issue, supporting Ukraine. Britain and Latvia are good partners, and I hope they always will be.

"Latvia is a multi-ethnic country, and this is particularly evident in Daugavpils. It is very important to take care of the cohesion of society, and the British Council supports this process. The emigration of a significant part of Latvia's population to the West is a serious problem; I know that this problem is acute in Daugavpils, but Daugavpils is not only a very beautiful city, but also an important city for Latvia as a whole. It has lost a lot of inhabitants and continues to lose inhabitants, so there are some difficulties."  

The Ambassador also mentioned the discussions on the public media, as well as the possible cessation of Russian-language content from 1 January 2026:

"I am convinced of the importance of independent media when the risk of fake news is high and when the problem of disinformation is acute. Russia is actively trying to use its propaganda weapon.

"Free media is very, very necessary. I think that the public media have a very important and positive role to play, covering all sections of the population. The UK supports, this resource plays an important role, and we love and appreciate your work. I think your positive role is obvious, thanks to you Russian-speaking citizens receive balanced and reliable information. Without, the risks of Kremlin propaganda will increase. I am aware of the idea [that is included in] the National [Security concept] to abolish public media in Russian. The decision is up to the government."

The diplomat was also keen to talk about cooperation with Daugavpils and Latgale: "We have good ties with the Daugavpils theatre, I have great respect for the work of Oļegs Šapošņikovs (head of the Daugavpils theatre - and his team. The Daugavpils Theatre is innovative, very creative and good. [..]

"We have a long-standing cooperation with the Rothko Museum - British artists and art historians often visit Daugavpils. This year we supported the creation of a youth club at the Rothko Museum, and its participants will soon be able to participate in two workshops, I think this month.

"Unfortunately, there is no British Consulate in Daugavpils, but I try to be here often. It is important that the British Embassy is not limited to Riga."

NOTE: A quotation from the ambassador was amended June 14 as a result of changes made to the original Russian language text by the LSM Russian language service.

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