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Latvian Deputy: Ban From Nemtsov Funeral Solidifies EU View Of Moscow

  • RFE/RL

BRUSSELS -- A European Parliament member from Latvia who was prevented from attending the funeral of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov says such actions by Moscow are illegal and unify the EU's view of the Russian government.

Sandra Kalniete, who was denied entry into Russia on March 3 and kept at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport before being sent back to Latvia, was told she was a threat to Russian "defense and security" and banned from the country until 2019.

Kalniete, an ex-foreign minister of Latvia and former EU agriculture commissioner, told RFE/RL in Brussels on March 4 that she believes she was barred from Russia over statements she made about Moscow's annexation of Crimea and involvement in the Ukraine crisis.

She said the confiscation of her passport for the 15 hours she was kept at the airport was illegal and violated international conventions.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz demanded Moscow provide an explanation of Kalniete's treatment.

Kalniete, who was born in Siberia, said Nemtsov's killing has brought renewed EU support for the Russian opposition, adding that "every regime" eventually "[cracks] and falls apart."

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