Baltic States – CIS, Direct Speech, Latvia, Russia

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Monday, 26.10.2020, 11:36

We could hardly call relations between Latvia and Russia as satisfactory

BC, Riga , 13.10.2020.Print version
Relations between Latvia and Russia have not gone through the best times in recent years, and they can hardly be described as satisfactory, the Russian Ambassador to Latvia Yevgeny Lukyanov said in an interview with the Russian language newspaper Segodnja, cites LETA.

Lukyanov noted that mutual contacts were further hampered down by the Covid-19 pandemic, due to which there has been a slight slowdown in the interstate dialogue. As a result, all important cooperation mechanisms have been suspended, including the bilateral intergovernmental commissions and their working groups, interparliamentary links, and contacts between the two countries at the municipal level. Work on a number of bilateral documents to complement the bilateral framework has also stalled. As an example, the ambassador mentioned the draft agreement on the Russian-Latvian border regime.

"Against this background, and in the context of an almost complete" freeze "in bilateral relations, it seems premature for me to talk seriously about improving relations," Lukyanov said, adding that he saw the potential for normalizing the interstate dialogue. "All that is needed is the political will to live up to today's realities and think about tomorrow in the interests of the people of our countries. Unfortunately, today we do not see such an attitude on the part of our colleagues," said the Russian ambassador.

Lukyanov criticized the Latvian side that there are separate forces hostile to Russia in the Latvian government, which does not allow to fully realize the potential of interstate relations. ''Cliches about Russia's alleged aggressive policies from the Latvian side again-and-again have not allowed for the restoration of normal relations between the two countries,'' the ambassador said, claiming that there is a deliberate unwillingness of the ruling circles of Latvia to establish dialogue and good neighborly relations.

"However, it seems to me that the demand for the improvement of relations and developing multilateral cooperation with our country has become increasingly clear within Latvian society. People are tired, they have realized that it is useless to continue to ''heat up'' the anti-Russian mood.  It is completely clear that such policies fail to solve real problems," said the Russian ambassador.

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