04:12 GMT19 May 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday described Latvia's move to ban Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency's Baltnews.lv website as an attempt to purge its information space of independent media.

    "This step clearly shows official Riga's desire to clear its information space from independent and not controlled by the state media outlets," the ministry said in a statement.

    "We expect corresponding disapproval of this decision of official Riga by relevant international structures and NGOs, first of all, by OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir," the ministry added.

    Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) expressed has also expressed its concern over the ban. 

    "We are concerned over the politically motivated ban of Baltnews.lv website in Latvia. This is yet another example of harsh censorship of the freedom of speech and media in an OSCE country, which goes against Riga's loud proclamations about adhering to the principles of democracy," the mission said on Twitter.

    ​According to the notification of the national domain registrar, seen by Sputnik, the Latvian Foreign Ministry has ruled that Baltnews.lv violates the European Union's decision, issued on March 17, 2014, on sanctions "in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine."

    Russian Foreign Ministry, media, website, ban, Latvia
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