Zakharova Slams Borrell's Avoidance To Call Out Latvia's Assault Of Russian Journalists

Zakharova Slams Borrell's Avoidance to Call Out Latvia's Assault of Russian Journalists

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell refrained from expressing "deep concerns" over the violation of human rights in Latvia when addressing the repression of Russian-writing journalists in this EU member state, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 05th February, 2021) EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell refrained from expressing "deep concerns" over the violation of human rights in Latvia when addressing the repression of Russian-writing journalists in this EU member state, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

Borrell addressed Latvia's persecution of journalists at a press conference in Moscow following talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov earlier in the day. He expressed hope that the Latvian authorities would review each case in line with the law.

"No 'deep concerns' about human rights and freedom of expression. Not a single word about it. Blissful anticipation of justice among own ranks. That is how we, too, shall respond to their criticism 'Rest assured, we will handle it in line with the principle of legality and with respect for the fundamental civil rights and freedoms,'" Zakharova said on Facebook.

Authorities in Latvia have been giving Russian-writing journalists hard time for several years now, but the pressure escalated at the end of last year. Latvian journalists working for Sputnik.Latvia and Baltnews were indicted over the violation of EU sanctions under Article 84 of Latvia's criminal code. The journalists were ordered not to leave the country. Their houses and offices were searched, and they now face a punishment that can potentially range from a fine to imprisonment.

Sputnik.Latvia and Baltnews belong under Russian umbrella media conglomerate Rossiya Segodnya, whose director general, Dmitry Kiselev, was sanctioned by the European Union in 2014. The Russian Foreign Ministry, in its comments on the matter, has stressed that EU sanctions against Kiselev were of a personal kind, which means that they are not supposed to apply to the media agencies linked to him.