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Russia summons Latvian ambassador amid Ukraine unrest

  • 2014-07-22
  • From wire reports, RIGA

Astra Kurme (left) with Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russia has summoned Latvian ambassador to Moscow Astra Kurme  after three popular Russian singers were blacklisted in Riga amid the Ukraine crisis.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov expressed "indignation and protest" against Latvia's decision to impose a travel ban on Oleg Gazmanov, Joseph Kobzon and Alla Perfilova, also known as Valeriya.

The move comes after the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it wouldn't support 'apologists' of Russian foreign policy. The musicians would be banned for an indefinite period of time, the ministry said.

Ryabkov told Kurme that "this unfriendly step, which was taken along the anti-Russian lines of Riga in regard to events in Ukraine, can have a negative impact on bilateral relations between the both countries."

"Latvia must take full responsibility for this. We keep our right to respond with counter-measures," the Russian ministry's announcement indicates.

Elsewhere,Latvia summoned Russian ambassador to Latvia Alexander Veshnyakov. amid the downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight that killed all 298 on board.