VILNIUS (Reuters) – Russia protested on Friday after Latvia charged several journalists from the Rossiya Segodnya news agency with violating European Union sanctions.
The journalists were charged because of their association with Dmitry Kiselyov, who heads Rossiya Segodnya, said Sputnik Latvia, a subsidiary of Rossiya Segodnya.
The Kremlin media mogul was sanctioned by the EU for his role in Russia’s seizure of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.
© Reuters/EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA
FILE PHOTO: Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov listens during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow
“We consider such actions of intimidation against journalists unacceptable”, Dmitry Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, was quoted as saying by Baltnews, another Rossiya Segodnya outlet.
“We count on a prompt and tough response from the relevant international organisations”.
Latvia’s counter-intelligence State Security Service said on Friday it had initiated “court-sanctioned proceedings” against seven unnamed people for alleged violation of EU sanctions.
Rossiya Segodnya said it intended to ask international and European organisations to react “to actions by the Latvian government against journalists” which it said violated freedom of speech.
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Japan’s Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi (R) meets with Chief of Staff of the French Navy, Admiral Pierre Vandier at his office in the ministry in Tokyo, Japan, on Nov. 30, 2020.
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A protester shouts slogans during a demonstration against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s alleged corruption and his handling of the COVID-19 crisis, in Jerusalem on Nov. 28, 2020.
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Authorities burn seized drugs and alcoholic drinks in the outskirts of Jalalabad, Afghanistan, on Nov. 28, 2020.
Tunisian Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi makes a speech during a parliamentary session of voting on the finance law for the 2021 financial year at the Assembly of the People’s Representatives (ARP) in Tunis, Tunisia, on Nov. 28, 2020.
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People clean up at a protest site in Habboubi Square in Nasiriyah, Iraq, on Nov. 28, 2020, as anti-government protesters defied lockdowns and the threat of violence to demonstrate in several Iraqi cities.
Wilton D. Gregory receives his biretta as he is appointed cardinal by Pope Francis, during a consistory ceremony at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on Nov. 28, 2020. Gregory is the Catholic Church’s first African American cardinal.
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his wife Olena visit a monument for Holodomor victims during a commemoration ceremony marking the 87th anniversary of the famine of 1932-33, in which millions died of hunger, in Kiev, Ukraine, on Nov. 28, 2020.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi talks to members of the media during his visit to the Um Rakuba refugee camp which houses Ethiopian refugees fleeing the fighting in the Tigray region, on the Sudan-Ethiopia border on Nov. 28, 2020.
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Protesters try to topple a damaged bus outside the National Palace demanding the resignation of Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, in Guatemala City, Guatemala, on Nov. 28, 2020. Protests continue against Giammattei and the legislature for approving a budget that cut educational and health spending.
Singer-actress Cher (L) talks to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan during their meeting, in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Nov. 27, 2020. Cher is in Pakistan to celebrate the departure of Kaavan, dubbed the “world’s loneliest elephant,” who will soon leave a Pakistani zoo for better conditions after years of lobbying by animal rights groups and activists.
A volunteer wearing a protective suit sprinkles disinfectant as supporters of Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr attend Friday prayers ahead of a rally in support of al-Sadr at Tahrir Square in Baghdad, Iraq, on Nov. 27, 2020.
Medical workers wait by ambulances ready to transport wounded, after a bomb attack at an ice cream shop in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Nov. 27, 2020. A local official said the suicide bombing at the ice cream shop killed at least seven people, and the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab extremist group has claimed responsibility.
Thai pro-democracy protesters hold rubber ducks, a protector symbol of the protesters, during a rally in Bangkok, Thailand, on Nov. 27, 2020. Protesters descended on one of the Thai capital’s most congested intersections to stage what they called a “coup rehearsal drill.”
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko (C) visits the Transfusiology Centre at Municipal Clinical Hospital No. 6 that treats COVID-19 patients, in Minsk, Belarus, on Nov. 27, 2020.
A file photo dated Jan. 23, 2019, shows Iran’s top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh during a meeting. Fakhrizadeh was assassinated by unidentified gunmen on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran, on Nov. 27, 2020.
Graffiti artist Syrian Aziz Esmer draws a portrait of Diego Armando Maradona on the walls of a home destroyed after the attacks of Assad regime forces, in Idlib, Syria, on Nov. 27, 2020.
Youth activists dressed in red take part in a protest during the Asia Climate Rally, outside the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Nov. 27, 2020.
Smoke billows following a reported airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition in Sanaa, Yemen, on Nov. 27, 2020. The Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen bombed rebel camps including in the capital Sanaa, AFP correspondents said, days after the Houthis attacked an oil facility in Saudi Arabia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with members of the Security Council via a video link in Moscow, Russia, on Nov. 27, 2020.
Leftist women’s organizations organize a ‘women’s rally’ at Shahbagh to demand 11 points, including strengthening resistance against continued incidents of rape, oppression of women and children and impunity across the country, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Nov. 27, 2020.
Ugandan presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, washes his face outside a petrol station, in Migera, Uganda, on Nov. 27, 2020.
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech via video at the opening ceremony of the 17th China-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Expo in Nanning, China, on Nov. 27, 2020.
Belgian lawyer Dimitri de Beco, representing Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi, charged in Belgium with planning to bomb a meeting of an exiled Iranian opposition group in France, speaks to media as he arrives at the court building in Antwerp, Belgium, on Nov. 27, 2020.
Police officers check the documents of a driver during a rally in front of the Slovenian Parliament to demand the resignation of the government in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on Nov. 27, 2020.
Toys and flowers lie near a house in a residential area destroyed by rocket fire by Armenian forces in Ganja, Azerbaijan, on Nov. 27, 2020.
Demonstrators are sprayed by a riot police water cannon during clashes following a protest against Chilean President Sebastian Pinera’s government in Santiago, Chile, on Nov. 27, 2020.
Taiwan’s Premier Su Zhen-chang is protected by the Democratic Progressive Party legislators whilst Kuomintang legislators try to stop him from addressing policy on the podium in Taipei, Taiwan, on Nov. 27, 2020.
U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi (C) visits Ethiopian refugees who have fled the Tigray conflict, at a transit center in Hamdayit, Sudan, on Nov. 27, 2020.
A Palestinian demonstrator stands in front of Israeli troops during a protest against Jewish settlements, in Kafr Malik in West Bank on Nov. 27, 2020.
Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (L) meets with Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah Al Saud during the 47th session of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers, in Niamey, Niger, on Nov. 27, 2020.
A tram is renovated with Bruce Lee-themed artworks to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the birth of Lee, at the Whitty Street Tram Depot in Hong Kong on Nov. 27, 2020.
The Baltic States of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, which were dominated by Moscow in the Soviet era but are now members of NATO and the EU, worry that their Russian-speaking minorities can be influenced by state-owned Russian media.
In June, Latvia and Lithuania took Russian broadcaster RT off the air, calling its channels “propaganda” and citing its ties to Kiselyov.
(Reporting by Andrius Sytas, additional reporting by Alexander Marrow, Editing by Timothy Heritage)