Latvia to downgrade diplomatic ties with Russia
The Latvian foreign ministry demanded in a statement that the Russian Ambassador Mikhail Vanin leave the country before February 24.
The Latvian foreign ministry demanded in a statement that the Russian Ambassador Mikhail Vanin leave the country before February 24; on the same day, the Latvian Ambassador to Moscow Maris Riekstins will leave Russia.
Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said that Latvia would be downplaying their diplomatic relations with Russia starting February 24th.
"On January 23, 2023, the Russian Ambassador to the Republic of Latvia, Mikhail Vanin, was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Russian Ambassador was informed about Latvia's decision to lower the level of diplomatic relations with Russia from February 24, 2023, to the level of charge d'affaires," the statement says.
"The Ambassador of Russia must leave Latvia by February 24, 2023. The Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia to Russia will leave Russia by February 24," the ministry noted.
Read: Latvian President calls for isolation of Russians in Latvia
This follows the Baltic states' strategies of isolating Russia and presenting Moscow as the enemy. The three Baltic states maintain hardline stances on Russia's actions amid the war in Ukraine The Baltic authorities have previously impeded the expansion of Russian media on their territory.
Since June 9, 2022, the last remaining 80 Russian TV channels were banned from broadcasting in Latvia.
Earlier in December a Sputnik editor was arrested by Latvian authorities under the pretext of offering television connections and service for close to 100 households in Riga.
Read more: Russia urges Int'l condemnation of Sputnik editor's arrest in Latvia