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Latvia protests Russian embassy staffer's Covid rule-breaking

Latvia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) took the unusual step April 13 of publicly rebuking a member of a foreign diplomatic mission based in Rīga. 

The MFA expressed its protest to the Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Latvia, Vadim Vasilyev, who has been performing the duties of head of mission since the departure of former Ambassador of Russia. 

As reported by the news portal Delfi, on March 27, in the courtyard of a house in Rīga, a party was held in clear violation of the rules of epidemiological safety. It was attended by more than a dozen guests. Neighbors called the police who interviewed the owner - the military attaché of the Russian Federation, Ruslan Ushakov - while his guests allegedly hid inside the house out of sight.

When the police left, Ushakov displayed less than full military honor by performing obscene gestures to his law-abiding neighbors, all of which was captured in photos. Subsequently, the guests departed in cars with diplomatic plates.

Ruslan Ushakov, military attache of the Russian Federation

It is not the first time Ushakov has attracted attention. LTV reported in September last year, that someone bearing a striking resemblance to him was seen visiting public places without wearing a mask after returning from an overseas trip days before. According to the Panorāma news show, two employees of the Russian embassy fell ill with Covid-19 at the same time. 

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is treating what happened quite seriously and considers such behaviour to be unacceptable. The Vienna Convention grants certain privileges; nevertheless, any member of diplomatic service should behave respectably and comply with the legal norms and legislation of the host country as well as behaving in an appropriate manner toward the representatives of law enforcement authorities who are performing their professional duties," the Foreign Ministry pointed out.

The Chargé d’Affaires, of the Embassy of the Russian Federation said the incident would not be ignored.

 

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