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Latvian Charged Over Petition To Join Russia

Prosecutors have charged a Latvian man with calling for the "liquidation" of the Baltic nation's independence over an Internet petition to make it part of Russia.

Latvian Prosecutor-General's Office spokeswoman Aiga Eiduka told reporters on April 23 that the suspect, whose name was not released, could face community service or a fine if found guilty.

However, by law calls for the "liquidation" of Latvian independence are punishable by up to three years in jail.

The man is suspected of posting a petition on the possibility of Latvia joining Russia on a website in March 2014, after Russia annexed of Crimea from Ukraine.

The Russian takeover of the Black Sea peninsula is widely considered illegal and, along with Russian support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, has made many in the Baltics and other neighboring nations nervous about Moscow's intentions.

More than a quarter of the nearly 2 million people in Latvia are ethnic Russians.

Based on reporting by and Interfax