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Russia Said To Expel Latvian On Spy Charge

  • RFE/RL

A former member of the Latvian parliament has expressed surprise over Russian media reports that said he was expelled from Russia for spying.

The murky incident underscored heightened tension between Russia and the Baltic states, which are wary of Moscow's intentions following its annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Kremlin-allied NTV television showed what it said was a confession from Aleksejs Holostovs, and Russian media reported he had been expelled.

Latvian news agency Leta quoted Holostevs, a member of Latvia's large ethnic Russian minority, as saying he was surprised at the espionage allegation and did not know anything about being deported.

Latvian Foreign Ministry spokesman Karlis Eihenbaums told Latvian radio the incident was being investigated.

He said that "Russia, in its international relations, is not behaving in line with what we would expect in the 21st century."

The NTV video appeared to show Holostovs saying he was "in Russia on orders from the Latvian special services, which are operating under CIA supervision."

It was part of a program depicting Latvia as a pawn in what it portrayed as U.S. efforts to spy on Russia and weaken it.

With reporting by AFP,, Interfax, and RIA Novosti