Last Minute of War, live |  Two ships sailed from Ukraine loaded with 63,000 tons of grain

Last Minute of War, live | Two ships sailed from Ukraine loaded with 63,000 tons of grain

Latvian parliament declares Russia a “terrorist state” and demands an end to visas for Russian tourists

Latvia’s parliament on Thursday passed a statement calling Russia a state sponsor of terrorism and encouraging other countries to take similar initiatives. The statement, supported by Saeima MPs by 67 votes in favour, none against, called Russia’s actions in Ukraine “genocide of the Ukrainian people”. In addition, the institution appealed to the European Union (EU) to stop issuing tourist visas to Russian and Belarusian citizens.

The statement cites the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the actions of Russian forces in that country as the main reason for denouncing Russia as a “terrorist state”. As justification, the approved text emphasizes Russia’s “long-standing support for, and funding of, terrorist regimes and organizations.” Russia is the largest arms supplier to Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria and has carried out attacks on sovereign countries, including poisoning the Skripal family in the UK and shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17, killing 298 people came. .

Latvian lawmakers recall “the constant attacks by Russian troops against civilians, including the targeting of a theater in Mariupol that killed around 600 people, rocket attacks on a residential area near Odessa that killed at least 21 people, and an attack on a shopping center in Kremenchuk that killed 19 civilians.” The statement also cites a rocket attack on port facilities in Odessa, a day after an agreement to allow grain exports from that Ukrainian city came into effect.

Regarding tourist visas, the Latvian embassy in Moscow has already stopped issuing them to Russian citizens, except for people attending the funeral of a close relative, after Latvian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas declared this week that “visiting Europe is a privilege , not a human right.” The veto by Russian tourists around the world this week was a demand from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba celebrated the text’s adoption and tweeted “encouraged other states and organizations to do the same”.

On the other hand, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zajarova has described the Latvian parliament’s decision as “xenophobic”. “Considering that there is nothing but bestial xenophobia behind this decision, it is necessary to qualify its ideologues as nothing more than neo-Nazis,” the diplomatic spokeswoman wrote on Telegram. (agencies)