Zakharova: the expulsion of Russian journalists violates Latvia’s international obligations

MOSCOW, January 4. /TASS/. Riga violates its international obligations in the sphere of ensuring freedom of speech. This was stated on Thursday by the official representative of Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova, commenting on the decision of Latvia on the expulsion of journalists of the Russian TV channel “TV Center” and VGTRK – the spouses Anatoly and Olga Kurlovich.

“Latvia is directly and flagrantly violates its international legal obligations in the sphere of ensuring freedom of expression violates fundamental acts of the UN, OSCE and Council of Europe,” she said.
As the diplomat added, “it is obvious that the Latvian authorities with the tacit support of Brussels, the aim of the full sweep of the information space of the country from unwanted media.”

“We seek the corresponding reaction of specialized international institutions, she continued. – Encourage non-governmental organizations specializing in freedom of speech, to give an adequate assessment of the actions of Latvia, unthinkable for a democratic society”.

Zakharov stated that attempts to explain the deportation of journalists because they allegedly represent a threat to national security of Latvia, “give the times of totalitarianism the 30-ies of XX century in Spain and Germany.”
She also drew attention to the fact that the difficult situation with freedom of expression exists in other European countries who are proud of their democratic traditions. “For example, Paris, the cradle of human rights and freedoms, – said the official representative of the foreign Ministry. – While Latvian young Europeans practiced barbaric physical confrontation with journalists, the official Paris intends to strengthen control over social networks. This initiative was made by the President [Emmanuel] macron, by the way, as well personally hampering the work of Russian journalists in France.”