RIGA - The Russian Embassy in Latvia has denied that one of its employees is linked with spying after a local television news program reported that an advisor to the ambassador had previously been expelled from Georgia for espionage.
The "Nothing Personal" television news program reported Sunday night thatAlexander Hapilov, an adviser to Russian ambassador to Latvia AlexanderVeshnyakov, had been spying for Russia in Georgia in the past. The Russian embassy denied the accusation in a statement released Monday.
"It is a fact that Alexander Hapilov is working at the embassy. It'strue. That he used to work at the embassy in Georgia is also true. Butthat he was expelled from there is a revelation that you have just made tome. He deals with the humanitarian sphere. He deals with the issues ofcultural cooperation, including organizing Days of Culture here in Latvia.So he has the most peaceful profession that an employee of a Russianembassy can have," the ambassadorsaid in a statement.
"Such provocations obviously do not contribute to positive neighborlyrelations between Latvia and Russia," he said.