Riga Court upholds former Moscow mayor’s ban from Latvia
RIGA, August 1 (RAPSI) - The Riga District Court closed a civil suit in which Yury Luzhkov required Latvian officials to cancel his ban from the country, RIA Novosti reports citing major Latvian media.
In January 2011, the Latvian Interior Ministry included ex-Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov, who applied for a residence permit in Latvia, on a black list of individuals banned from entry. Interior Minister Linda Murniece said Luzhkov did not deserve a residence permit due to his strongly negative comments about the country.
The court closed Luzhkov’s case by ruling that the former mayor does not even have the right to appeal the decision of the Interior Ministry, mixnews.lv reports.
Luzhkov was Moscow mayor for over 18 years until a presidential decree removed him from office on September 28, 2010. The decree was issued due to “loss of trust.”
Luzhkov’s case is not unique. In 1993, Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky was blacklisted by Latvia. In May 2003, Russian singer Iosif Kobzon was banned from entry by the Interior Ministry and refused a Latvian visa due to “a threat to national security and public order.”
In February 2004, the Latvian Foreign Ministry rejected the visa application of Russian politician Dmitry Rogozin who was Deputy State Duma Speaker at the time. The Foreign Ministry declared Rogozin a persona non grata after his negative statements and comments about Latvian officials.
In July 2014, the Foreign Ministry banned singers Iosif Kobzon, Oleg Gazmanov and Valeria from entering the country due to their stance on the reunification of Crimea with Russia and the crisis in Ukraine. The singers were expected to perform at the New Wave festival in Jurmala.