Russian ambassador summoned over 'wipe out Baltics' comments

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The Russian Federation's ambassador to Latvia, Aleksandr Veshnyakov, was summoned to the Latvian Foreign Ministry Wednesday to explain comments by controversial Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

In a statement the ministry said Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs “strongly condemned” Zhirinovsky for comments he made on TV channel Rossiya 24 last week in which he said the Baltic states and Poland should be “wiped out” in any conflict between Russia and the West.

“What will remain of the Baltics? Nothing will remain… Poland, the Baltics, they're doomed. They’ll be wiped out.” Zhirinovsky raved.

“Let the leaders of these tiny states consider this. Eastern European states will place themselves under the threat of total annihilation, and they will be the only ones to blame,” he said.

Poland also summoned the Russian ambassador in Warsaw to demand an explanation for the comments which Polish Foreign Minister Radoslav Sikorski branded “scandalous”.

"Such statements are vivid proof of the Russian ruling elite's desire to restore the Russian empire. This also shows that the EU and other countries' sanctions against Russia in connection with its activities in Ukraine are fully justified,” Rinkēvičs said.

Zhirinovsky, leader of the ultra-nationalist and ironically-named Liberal Democratic party in the Russian Duma has a long track record of making deliberately provocative comments against the Baltic states, among a wide spectrum of other targets.

Sometimes offensive, sometimes clownish, usually both, it is not the first time he has called for the Baltic states to be targeted with nuclear weapons and “reduced to dust.”

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