Latvian Experts Believe that Moscow Mayor's Visit to Latvia Will Not Improve Russia-Latvia Relations

A visit by Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov to Latvia has been given little coverage in the local press. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, there were only a handful of articles published today which covered his visit.

The famous Latvian political scientist Janis Ikstens said in an interview that Luzhkov's visit had not changed either the political or economic relations between Russia and Latvia. 'The volume of oil that is exported via Latvian ports has decreased, which is hardly a sign of friendship,' the political scientist said. 'Of course Russia seems to have accepted Latvia's bid to enter NATO but, nonetheless, Russia has still not signed the agreement on the border.'

According to Mr Ikstens, the fact that the top political leaders of Latvia did not even meet Mr Luzhkov was a surer sign of the current state of Russia-Latvia relations. The reason for this, according to Mr Ikstens, may be certain remarks that Mr Luzhkov had made on previous occasions about Latvia as well as the fact that he is only a city mayor.

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