Integration monitor is a daily Latvian press digest on ethnic minority and society integration issues. The Monitor reviews the biggest Latvian dailies: Diena, Latvijas Avize, Neatkariga (in Latvian language), Vesti Segodnya (in Russian language). In specific cases other information sources are used. Latvian Centre for Human Rights is not responsible for information published by the media.
- Chief of the Security Police Normunds Mezviets: Russia might use Orthodox Church as one of the tools of influence on Russian speaking residents in Latvia
- Unknown internet user threatens to shoot all non-citizens in Latvia
- Aleksandrs Gilmans and Vladimirs Buzajevs asks the Security Police and the Saeima to prevent the procession of Latvian Waffen SS legionnaires on 16 March
- Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov: Russia is interested that ethnic Russian residents would feel themselves as normal citizens in Latvia
The Chief of the Security Police Normunds Mezviets in an interview with TV3 stated that Russia might use Orthodox Church as one of the tools of influence on Russian speaking residents in Latvia. According to Mr Mezvietis: “Orthodox Church in Latvia becomes more active, develops cooperation with children and young people. Tries to attract young generation and actively works also with ethnic Latvians. [..] Taking into account that Russian Orthodox Church is closely connected with state (Russia’s) government, it promotes loyalty towards Russia, concept of “Russian world”, and impression about unique mission of Russia’s geopolitical civilisation in the world context.” Vesti Segodnya
Vesti Segodnya reports about comments published on an online news portal whose author threatens to shoot all non-citizens in Latvia if Russia tries to realise in Latvia conflict similar to Ukraine. A public activist Normunds Grostins sent a complaint about such comments to the Security Police considering that it is incitement of ethnic hatred and threat of violence or even call to genocide.
Representative of the Latvian Anti-fascist Committee Aleksandrs Gilmans and representative of the Latvian Human Rights Committee Vladimirs Buzajevs sent an appeal to the Security Police and to the Saeima’s Sub-committee on Criminal Law Policy asking to prevent the procession of Latvian legionnaires on 16 March (unofficial commemoration day of Latvian Waffen SS legionnaires) in Riga. The authors of the appeal argue that the amendments to the Article 74.1 of the Criminal Law adopted on 1 July 2014 stipulates criminal punishment for gross trivialisation of crimes against peace and crimes committed by Nazi and Soviet regimes. They also believe that by commemorating Latvian Waffen SS legion through such procession and without condemnation of its crimes, legionnaires and their supporters neglect feelings of victims of crimes and thus commit criminal offence. Vesti Segodnya
Vesti Segodnya reports about a meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov and Latvia Edgars Rinkevics who also represented Latvia as a state holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU. After the meeting Mr Lavrov stated that Russia’s officials have never made any statements about possible restoration of the USSR borders or invasion into Latvia. He also explained that the notion of the “Russian World” includes such areas as culture, language and religion and compared it with Goethe Institute or Cervantes Institute. Mr Lavrov stated that Russia is interested that ethnic Russian residents would feel themselves as normal citizens in Latvia and Latvia would implement all recommendations of the international institutions such as OSCE, UNO and others.