Russia accused Latvia of ‘xenophobia’ on Thursday, after the country’s parliament designated Moscow as a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ in connection with the Ukraine conflict. ‘ Considering that there is no substance behind this decision, other than animalistic xenophobia,’ Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Telegram.
The Latvian parliament had previously stated that it ‘recognizes Russia’s actions in Ukraine as targeted genocide against the Ukrainian people’ and called for increased military, financial, humanitarian, and diplomatic support for Ukraine. ‘Condemning Russia’s use of cluster munitions ‘to sow fear and indiscriminately kill civilians,’ MPs stated that ‘Russia’s violence against civilians committed in pursuit of political goals is terrorism’.
The Latvian parliament has called on the international community to impose the same sanctions imposed on Russia on Belarus. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, responded on Twitter, saying, ‘Ukraine encourages other states and organizations to follow suit’. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been described by President Vladimir Putin as a ‘special military operation’ to ‘denazify’ a country ruled by neo-Nazis.
Designed to justify an imperial-style conquest war by equating Ukraine to the Nazi German invaders of World War II, Ukraine and the West have dismissed Russia’s use of the term as propaganda. Since Russia’s invasion in February, millions of Ukrainians have fled their homes, and thousands have been killed.
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