Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russia Said To Expel Latvian On Spy Charge

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
  • 16x9 Image


    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.