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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Press Aide Fired Over Bogus Interview

RIGA, Latvia -- The press attach? of Latvia's ruling party was fired from his post Thursday following allegations that he fabricated a published interview with NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana.

Mikhail Mamilov, attach? for Latvia's Way, published what he said was an interview with Solana in Riga's Russian-language Respublika newspaper, in which the NATO chief questioned Latvia's commitment to democracy.

The story, which ran Monday, implied an interview with Solana took place during his tour of the three Baltic states last June.

NATO spokesman Jamie Shea called the statements attributed to Solana "a total fabrication" in a letter to Respublika and demanded it print a clarification. But Mamilov has refused to retract the interview, which he said he conducted in June before joining Latvia's Way.

Latvia, which regained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, hopes to join NATO and the European Union.