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Saturday 21.09.2019 | Name days: Matīss, Modris, Mariss
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Researchers: Eastern Latvian cities promote Russia’s influence in Latvia

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A scenery of the eastern Latvian region of Latgale

Despite Latvia’s difficult relations with Russia, two major Latvian cities engage in initiatives adhering to the interests of the eastern neighbour, researchers of the Centre for East European Policy Studies (CEEPS) have found in a new, revealing study.

In the study Russia’s Co-operation with Latvian Municipalities: Cases of Daugavpils and Rēzekne, which was published on Wednesday, June 19, the researchers analysed the documents of both city councils, press reports, interviews with municipality officials and local activists, putting them into perspective with Russian foreign policy documents.

It was found during the study that in both major cities a non-critical attitude toward Russian initiatives can be witnessed.

Here, the fact is ignored that Russia perceives its activities in culture, humanitarian aid, education and «fellow nationals’ policy» as a part of carrying out its foreign policy goals and national interests.

«Our analytical overview illustrates that municipalities, which could within the scope of its resources serve more actively to the strengthening of the state of Latvia, often do the opposite, promoting the realisation of the interests of the neighbouring country, instead of their own country’s interests,» commented one of the authors of the study, CEEPS board chairman Ainārs Lerhis.

Being aware of the character and interests of Russian foreign policy in Latvia, the city councils of Daugavpils and Rēzekne have to be responsible for ensuring alternatives, especially in the field of culture, thus engaging in the social integration process of Latvia.


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  1. Justs says:

    The Russian problem in Eastern Latvia will end in blood one way or another.

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