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Famous Russian Singer Kobzon Files Suit Against Latvia


Prominent Russian singer and lawmaker Iosif Kobzon has filed a lawsuit with the European Court of Human Rights against the Latvian government over Riga's decision to ban him from performing in the Baltic country.

Kobzon said on September 16 that he is demanding compensation from Latvia for the damages and losses suffered due to the entry ban.

Latvia banned Kobzon and two other Russian singers -- Oleg Gazmanov and Alla Perfilova (known as Valeriya) -- from entering the country in July because of their pro-Kremlin stance on the Ukraine crisis.

The singers were due to perform at the New Wave contest, an annual televised event at Latvia's Jurmala seaside resort that draws fans and competitors from across the former Soviet Union.

Kobzon claims he paid 11,500 euros ($15,000) in hotel fees for his stay in Jurmala, which the hotel refused to refund, advising him to seek reimbursement from the Latvian government.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax
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