Within the framework of the project “Do not abandon our friends, RT” launched a large-scale media campaign to support Latvian journalists who were arrested on charges of collaborating with Russian media.
According to the lawsuits brought against these journalists, they face up to four years in prison.
At the beginning of December 2020, seven Russian-speaking journalists who collaborated with the international news agency “Russia Segodnya (Russia Today)” were arrested in Latvia. They were searched and interrogated, and all their equipment was confiscated.
These journalists have cooperated with “Sputnik” and the Baltnews portal, and the intelligence services in Latvia accuse them of violating the European Union sanctions regime that was imposed on the director general of “Russia Sigodnia” agency Dmitry Kiselev personally.
Latvian journalists spoke in exclusive interviews with RT about the absurdity of the charges against their colleagues.
Vladimir Linderman, a journalist and political activist in Latvia, described the actions of the country’s authorities as an attempt to permanently suppress the free Russian word.
He said, “The Latvian authorities are trying to criminalize any contact with Russia … not only in the field of the media, but, for example, in some humanitarian, political, business and other issues. This is only in order to curb any unwanted person.”
Andrei Yakovlev, former editor-in-chief of Baltnews, noted that the campaign against Russian media in the Baltic countries has been going on for a long time and is part of the West’s grand geopolitical strategy mandating the Baltic states to create a “health cordon” around Russia.
Alla Berezovskaya, a member of the Latvian Union of Journalists, expressed regret that no colleagues in Latvia had condemned the intelligence services’ actions against the seven journalists.
The Russian Foreign Ministry stressed on the Russian Press Day, which fell on Wednesday, January 13th, that it is impermissible to pressure the Russian media abroad.
The aggressive actions by the Latvian authorities “are a flagrant example of a violation of the foundations of a democratic society with regard to freedom of information and expression of opinion.”