Spokesman Tarasov yesterday also turned down Latvian Foreign Minister Valdis Birkavs’ request to visit Moscow and "explain" the March 3 incident in Riga, which sparked this crisis. According to Tarasov, the Russian side does not need "clarifications" or "discussions." Moscow would only receive Birkavs when Latvia shows itself "ready for practical actions to grant human rights and liberties" to "our compatriots living in that country."
Russia’s Federation Council, which includes many appointees of President Boris Yeltsin, unanimously adopted yesterday a resolution condemning Latvia and proposing a joint commission of the Duma, the Federation Council and the Foreign Ministry to work out "adequate steps" to alleged oppression of Russians by the Latvian government. Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov proposed the resolution condemning Latvia for its "antidemocratic policy hostile to Russians and to Russia." (Russian agencies, March 12)
Echoes of 1991 Putsch.