Russian Ambassador summoned to Foreign Ministry

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On May 12 Russian Ambassador Alexander Veshnyakov was summoned to the Latvian Foreign Ministry, the ministry told the press Thursday. 

The news follows an interview that appeared in Latvian Russian-language daily Vesti Segodnya. In the interview Veshnyakov claimed that a deliberate "demonization" of Russia is taking place in Latvia and other Western countries.

The State Secretary of the Foreign Ministry Andrejs Pildegovičs reportedly told Veshnyakov that his criticism of Latvia's foreign and interior policy is inappropriate. Veshnyakov was told his statements had "crossed the boundaries accepted in diplomatic practice".

Likewise, the Ministry dismissed claims that Latvia is lying about the fulfillment of the Minsk agreement in Ukraine, as well as criticism over alleged falsification of history.

"The claim by the Russian Ambassador that the Latvian government is limiting Latvians' possibilities to get alternative information on what's happening in the world was dismissed as absurd," the Ministry announcement reads.

"Pildegovičs expressed disappointment that, despite his long tenure as Ambassador to Latvia, he [Veshnyakov] has not been able to fully comprehend Latvian society and its processes. The ambassador was asked to avoid messages aimed at dividing the Latvian public," the statement reads.

On Wednesday Veshynakov claimed in an interview with the Vesti Segodnya daily that a deliberate "demonization" of Russia is carried out with the goal of "weakening Russia".

He claimed that Russia is being targeted by what he called "clear propaganda", such as the BBC film featuring a Russian invasion and Latvian-made documentary "The Master Plan". Veshynakov did not however specify what elements of propaganda these films contain.

In response, Aleksey Pushkov, the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Russian State Duma, posted on Twitter that "Rīga should look into the mirror more often", saying he's perplexed about the Russian Ambassador being summoned to the Foreign Ministry.

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