MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti) - Latvia has misled the international community and its own people about the country's human rights situation, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a commentary, released Thursday.
"Such bravado is yet another cynical attempt of the Latvian authorities to mislead the international community, as well as Latvia's own people, about the real situation. Multiple serious, backed up by facts complaints about the situation of human rights protection in Latvia and about the policies of [the country's] authorities in this sphere have been voiced by the corresponding international institutions and mechanisms," reads the statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Earlier, spokesperson for Latvian Foreign Ministry, Karlis Eihenbaums said that Moscow's complaints against the situation of human rights protection in Riga are groundless, as the people of his country enjoy the same basic rights and freedoms that other EU countries" citizens enjoy.
The Russian Foreign Ministry views the Latvian situation of so-called non-citizens disgraceful for a "free Europe". As of January 2013, non-citizens comprised about 14 percent of the Latvian population.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also commented on the Latvian statement that Russian Foreign Ministry's Special Representative for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law Konstantin Dolgov, who was in Riga on September 13, allegedly refused to meet some Latvian officials.
"This is another attempt to lay the blame on somebody else. We would like to remind the Latvian side that we have repeatedly proposed to hold consultations with the Russian Foreign Ministry's Special representative in Riga," the statement said, adding that it was Latvia that declined the proposal. The Russian Foreign Ministry has also called on its Latvian counterpart to refrain from such speculations in the future.