The Latvian Foreign Ministry has declared two high-ranking Russian journalists personae non-gratae in Latvia.
The Latvian authorities say Modest Kolerov, the former editor-in-chief of the Regnum news agency, and Igor Pavlovsky, the current deputy editor, have secretly undermined the territorial integrity and economic security of Latvia, according to a ministry press statement.
Kolerov, a former director of the Presidential Administration’s Deparment for Interregional and Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, is an active opponent of what he considers to be growing facism in the Baltic countries.
He is already on “black lists” in Georgia, Lithuania and Estonia, according to a Regnum report.
Russia and the Baltic states remain at a loggerheads over cultural and historical issues. The Russian authorities have repeatedly expressed dismay at what they say are neo-Nazi marches, which honor local veterans of World War II who fought for the Nazis, which are held in Lithuania’s and Latvia’s capital cities.
Regnum is a federal news agency that covers news in Russia and neighboring countries. The Estonian authorities accused the agency in 2005 of acting as a propaganda tool on the behalf of the Russian government.