Pro Russia activists in Latvia campaigning to join Russia, mayor says

  • 2014-11-11
  • From wire reports, RIGA

A Latvian mayor has voiced concern over the build up of pro Russia activities on the Latvia-Russia border, the Diena newspaper reports.

It follows after Kraslava mayor Mayor Gunars Upenieks claims pro Russia activists are carrying door to door campaigns in the Latgale region near Russia and handing out brochures over the possibility of the region joining Russia. 

"Information reaches the city council fast enough, however, we have no way of stopping this movement. They are also visiting schools and other public institutions," Upenieks told the Diena newspaper.

"There are rumors about payments in order to get people in high posts to their side. I have discussed this matter with colleagues from other municipalities, however, there is nothing we can do. What are the Security Police doing, I do not know."

He admitted that people who have a job and an automobile are a lot less likely to be approached by the pro-Russia activists, however, "it is easier to persuade needy residents that the large neighbor will save them."

Zilupe Region Council Deputy Chairman Vitalijs Valdens, a member of the pro Russia Harmony party retorted the claims with a counter-question: 

"Why does everyone have such a bad opinion about our region? Our youth speak Latvian perfectly, we have the greatest patriots of Latvia here. People are busy with other things here, they have no time to buy nonsense."

(Edited by Rayyan Sabet-Parry)