Latvian MP and President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament of Riga, Rihards Kols, has called on Moldova to be wary of Russian disinformation and narratives spread by Moscow through various channels. Kols, who previously represented Latvia at the OSCE, urged Russian delegates to follow the “Russian warship” path.
Kols stated that “Moldova benefits from full support from Latvia and the entire community block in its European path”. He added that Moldova must now respect its commitments to implementing reforms and, in the face of the dangers posed by Russia, be very careful about certain provocations.
“It is crucial, especially in Moldova, to combat the disinformation spread by Russia through various channels, all sorts of narratives. This means that society must be very critical of the information it consumes. Check sources twice, as manipulation is there. I believe that the protests you had last week are a relevant example in this regard. You must be united in Moldova with regard to European integration. You have our support!” said Kols.
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Kols’ previous remark to the OSCE winter meeting, in which he urged Russian delegates to take the “Russian warship” path, made headlines around the world. Upset by Kols’ flag-waving for Ukraine, Russian delegates asked him to leave, and several members of delegations from other countries left the room in protest against Russian insistence.
Asked about his remark, Kols said, “It was my first participation in the OSCE meeting as the head of the Latvian delegation. When these criminals began talking as if nothing had happened, I thought I should speak out. I cannot have a dialogue with war criminals. Therefore, it is a shame that they were there. I had to say that, and the direction in which I urged them to leave is the way you should talk to the Russians.”
Kols said that the incident at the OSCE meeting with the “Russian warship” did not end there. In the corridor, the head of the Russian delegation threatened him.
“After the meeting, the head of the Russian delegation, Piotr Tolstoi, passed by me and said, ‘Our ships will soon reach you.’ My response was, ‘Continue coming directly to the court,'” said Latvia’s representative to the OSCE.
Kols hopes that the Russian delegation will not be present at the next OSCE meeting in Canada and will be excluded from the organization.