Latvia turned down military inspection invite, says Russia

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Latvia has declined an invitation from Russia to inspect a major military base not far from the shared border of the two countries, Russian state news agency TASS reported March 12.

The information came from the Russian Ministry of Defense which said "Representatives of Latvia refused to visit the Army Aviation Brigade in the town of Ostrov, and Pskov Airborne Division, about which they had previously expressed fears."

The news release also complained that Russia had received only one official invitation to inspect a NATO training exercise, 'Anaconda' in Poland in 2016 and also moans about the lack of access Russian inspectors were given.

In return it said NATO representatives had been invited to numerous events in Russia, though it should be noted that those specified such as the 'Army 2016' forum and 'International Army Games' were not proper training exercises but publicity exercises for the Russian military.

However, as previously reported by LSM, Latvian and Russian defene officials did meet for bilateral talks in Riga in December 2016 during which the Latvian side expressed concerns about the Ostrov base, which hosts a powerful air assault brigade with attack helicopters and paratroopers.

Latvia's Defense Ministry has yet to comment on the report.

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