Latvia tells Russian Foreign Ministry to check its facts

Latvia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement November 22 pointing out that the Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman was being less than wholly accurate in her pronouncements on Latvia.

"As regards the opinion 'On the state of Russian media in Latvia' voiced by Maria Zakharova, the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, in her briefing on 21 November, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia would like to note that the decision of 20 November by the National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEMMC) of Latvia on revoking licences to rebroadcast nine Russian television channels is in no way associated with restricting access to alternative sources of information and with the contents of those channels," the statement says.

As previously reported by LSM, the channels are part of a media holding the real beneficiary of which is Yuriy Kovalchuk, who is subject to restrictive measures by the European Union (EU) for undermining the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. The decision to suspend the channels was nothing to do with the content of the channels, as explained by the Latvian broadcast regulator.

Nevertheless, that didn't prevent Zakharova airing her view that "We have received news that does not make one feel optimistic when it comes to freedom of speech in Latvia... Such discriminative steps of the Latvian authorities against Russian media resources and blatant attempts to cleanse the information space of alternative and maybe undesirable points of view, are a serious violation of international law."

Yes, she really did invoke international law.

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