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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Riga Rebuffs Rally

RIGA, Latvia -- Riga's city authorities rejected Thursday a request by a Latvian Russian-speaking group for permission to hold a meeting on one of the capital's central squares, Interfax reported.

The Riga legislative assembly's press office said that, in turning down the Russian Community's request, the legislature's deputy executive director, Ita Zarina, was exercising her power under a 1993 ban on rallies, demonstrations, pickets and other political actions on Esplanade Square, the Baltic News Service reported.

The move comes at a time when Latvia will tell the European Union its work to integrate its large Russian- speaking minority and stable economy should advance it into formal entry talks, the Baltic state's Foreign Ministry said Thursday, Agence France Presse reported.

The EU rebuffed Latvia last year, saying it needed to integrate its 650,000 Russian speakers faster.