Latvia blacklists Rossiya Segodnya lawyers

Latvian Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis (Unity), has blacklisted Russian lawyers Evgeny Korolyov and Elena Timoshenkova from entering Latvia, the minister told LETA Monday.

Kozlovskis said he had included the two on the list of people declared persona non grata in Latvia based on the findings by the Latvian security agencies but would not elaborate.

According to the Russian propaganda outlet Sputnik, Korolyov and Timoshenkova are lawyers of Russia’s International Information Agency Rossiya Segodnya (Russia Today).

Koroloyov, the head of the Legal Department at Rossiya Segodnya, said he and Timoshenkova had arrived in Riga on Monday morning to participate in a court session to appeal the refusal of the Latvian authorities to register a bureau of Rossiya Segodnya in Latvia.

"But at the passport control section, our passports were seized and we were made to wait for an hour and a half before being told that we are being deported and are indefinitely banned from entering Latvia because we allegedly present a threat to national security," he told Sputnik.

The Russian embassy in Latvia said in a post on Facebook that blacklisting of the Russian lawyers was another proof that the refusal to register a representation of Rossiya Segodnya in Latvia was a politicized and legally unsound decision. ”Is Latvia really scared so much to hear legal arguments by Russian lawyers?” the embassy said.

In August 2015, the Latvian Register of Enterprises denied to add the Russian state-owned information agency Russia Today to the register.

As reported, the Russian propaganda wire Sputnik recently in February set up shop in Latvia and Estonia.

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