Latvian parliament calls Russia state sponsor of terrorism | National policy

BERLIN (AP) — Latvia’s parliament has declared Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism” for attacks on civilians during the war in Ukraine and has urged other countries to follow suit.

Lawmakers adopted a strongly worded statement on Thursday that accuses Moscow of using “suffering and intimidation as tools in its attempts to demoralize the Ukrainian people and the armed forces and cripple the functioning of the state.”

The statement said the Latvian Parliament “recognizes Russia’s violence against civilians in pursuit of political goals such as terrorism, recognizes Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism and calls on other like-minded countries to express the same point of view”.

It indicates that Russian forces deliberately targeted Ukrainian civilians during the war, including with attacks on a theater in Mariupol in Marcha shopping center in Kremenchuk in June and a residential area in Odessa in July.

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The lawmakers also called on Western countries to tighten sanctions against Russia and urged other members of the European Union to stop issuing tourist visas to Russian and Belarusian citizens.

Sixty-seven lawmakers from the 100-seat assembly voted in favor of adopting the declaration and 16 abstained, the parliament said.

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