First ban, then prison: Latvian special services threatened their athletes in Russia

The Latvian State Security Service (SSS) threatens its citizens with criminal liability for working in Russia.

According to Delfi, hockey players Janis Kalnins (Amur, Khabarovsk), Nikolai Eliseev (Admiral, Vladivostok) and coaches Leonid Tambiev, Andrejs Banada and Grigory Panteleev attracted the attention of Latvian law enforcement officials.

“We can confirm that the State Security Service will evaluate the compliance with the legal norms of the activities of Latvian athletes and sports professionals who continue their careers in Russia.

The State Security Service recalls, for example, that the penal code provides for the responsibility to justify genocide, crimes against humanity, crimes against peace and war crimes.

According to the State Security Service, in the current geopolitical conditions, any support for Russia, including participation in the promotion of its achievements in sports, is contrary to the interests of Latvia’s national security and the fundamental values ​​of a democratic democracy. community,” reports.

In April, Latvia’s Saeima adopted changes banning local athletes from performing on the territory of two hostile countries – Russia and Belarus, but athletes continued to sign contracts with Continental Hockey League (KHL) clubs.

So, on July 6, Janis Kalnins became the player of the Amur. On the same day, Roberts Plžejs, Secretary General of the Latvian Hockey Federation (LHF), said that the hockey player no longer has the right to defend the honor of the country in international tournaments.

“There is no need for discussion and speculation, because on April 30, the Latvian government changed the sports law, which clearly states that athletes and other sports-related employees are prohibited from participating in sports competitions held in Russia and Belarus.

We have always followed the rules and laws. According to Pluzheys, RIA Novosti said that according to the law, people who play sports in Russia or Belarus will be banned from joining the national team.

The player’s transfer application was received by the KHL a few days later, after which the LHF blocked the transfer.

Kalnins’ last club was Tappara from Finland. The Latvian was previously a member of the Continental Hockey League (KHL), where he played for Minsk Dinamo and Finnish Jokerit.

Since 2015, Kalnins has been called up to the national team of his country. With the Latvian team, the goalkeeper went through four world championships and the Olympic Games in Beijing.

The goalkeeper announced that he decided to sign a contract with the Russian club to protect the interests of his family.

“It’s an unpopular decision, but I made it because I didn’t have much time to play.

I am an adult. I know what kind of reaction people might have and how the media will turn it around.

Each of us lives our own life and makes the best decisions for ourselves and our families,” Sportacentrs quotes Kalniņš.

Two-time Olympic champion Alexander Kozhevnikov, in an interview with a correspondent, suggested that Latvian athletes, who could face criminal prosecution, be given a Russian passport.

“Those who want to play with us must be accepted and offered Russian citizenship so that they do not go to jail. We are ready to make some concessions to foreigners – there Seagal was issued a passport. And we don’t do that for people who are ready to play with us. Wonderful. This is what you should pay attention to.

I don’t think this law was invented to intimidate its citizens. That’s why it will be. They’re scoundrels, that’s what we want. For a long time there was American vassalism, now it legally prevails in the Baltic states.

How far can it go? It’s hard to say what’s on their minds. Everything that the Americans put in their heads will be there, ”said Kozhevnikov.

Recall that for the first time since the foundation of the tournament, Dynamo Riga will not play in the upcoming season of the KHL. On 9 March, the Latvian club announced its withdrawal from the league. Only two foreign teams remained in the KHL – Dinamo-Minsk (Belarus) and Barys (Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan).

After athletes working in Russian sports clubs were banned from participating in international competitions for the Latvian national team, Latvian intelligence agencies decided to track down those who remained in Russia. Such athletes face criminal liability up to jail time. Most of all, Latvians are interested in hockey – local media have already published the names of the five athletes and experts to watch closely. Two-time Olympic champion Alexander Kozhevnikov, in an interview with a correspondent, suggested that Latvian athletes under threat of criminal prosecution be given Russian passports.

Source: Gazeta


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