Latvian Saeima names Russia terrorism-supporting state

On Thursday, August 11, the Latvian Saeima issued a statement in which Russian violence against civilians was recognized as terrorism and Russia as a country supporting terrorism.

In the statement, the Saeima calls on the countries of the European Union to immediately suspend the issuance of tourism and entry visas to Russian and Belarusian citizens.

“Russia has been providing support and financing for terrorist regimes and organizations for many years, directly and indirectly, as the largest arms supplier for the Assad regime in Syria and as an implementer, such as the poisoning of the Skripal family or the shooting of the MH-17 aircraft. In Ukraine, Russia has chosen a similar, cruel, immoral, and illegal tactic, using imprecise and internationally banned weapons and ammunition, targeting disproportionate brutality against civilians and public places. In order to achieve the objectives of its illegal, aggressive war, Russia aims to intimidate and demoralize the Ukrainian people and armed forces, to paralyze the state's capacity - to occupy Ukraine, that is, Russia implements this violence for political purposes,” said Rihards Kols, Chair of the Saeima Foreign Affairs Commission.

In the statement, the Saeima notes that since Russia's unprovoked military attack on Ukraine on February 24, 2022, twelve million Ukrainians have been forced to leave their homes and more than five million have been forced to leave their country. During this period, human rights protection groups and international observation missions reported atrocities committed by the Russian armed forces against Ukrainian civilians, including torture, rape, killings, and mass detentions of civilians in so-called filtration centers, as well as mass deportations, according to the statement.

Less than 24 hours after Ukraine and Russia signed an agreement on the resumption of exports of cereals blocked in Ukraine through Turkey and the United Nations over the Black Sea, the Russian forces launched a missile attack on the port of Odesa on July 23, demonstrating its contempt for its commitments, international order and its institutions, and deliberately continued to deepen the global food crisis, hunger and suffering around the world, said the statement.

In its statement, the Saeima stresses that Russia uses suffering and intimidation as an instrument in its attempts to demoralize the Ukrainian people and armed forces. The Saeima acknowledges Russia's violence against civilians, which is being pursued for political purposes, as terrorism and Russia as a country supporting terrorism, and calls on other similar-thinking countries to express such an opinion.

Parliamentarians categorically condemn the military aggression and large-scale invasion of Ukraine with the support and engagement of the Belarusian regime, and call on the Euro-Atlantic Community and its partners to urgently step up and introduce comprehensive sanctions against Russia, including the European Union Member States to immediately suspend tourism and limit the issuance of entry visas to citizens of the Russian Federation and Belarus.

In its statement, the Saeima commemorates all victims of Russian aggression in Ukraine and expresses its solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.

67 Members voted for the announcement, whereas the Harmony party faction did not take part in the vote. Members of the faction and independent members commented that there should be 'fewer empty announcements and more practical work.'

Cyber-attack

A few hours after the decision of the Saeima regarding the adoption of the announcement, the IT security incident prevention body Cert.lv said that a major DDoS attack was taking place against the online resources of the Saeima on the part of activists supporting Russian aggression.

The work of the Saeima has not been disrupted.

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