A general view of Russia's embassy in Riga, Latvia May 23, 2018. Picture taken May 23, 2018. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins
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Latvia is investigating whether its banks acted as conduits for Russian funds used to interfere in elections and politics elsewhere, after it received a warning from the United States, officials have told Reuters.Foreign affairs minister Edgars Rinkevics told Reuters that citizens from Russia and former Soviet states, including people subject to U.S. sanctions, had put money in Latvian banks and some of it may have been used for political manipulation.The ministers did not give details of which cases were being investigated but three senior Latvian officials said that one concerned the movement of funds from Russia through a Latvian bank to support an attempted coup in 2016 in Montenegro.Reuters asked the Kremlin whether Russia had used Latvia to move funds that were used for political interference in Europe, whether it had been involved in an attempted coup in Montenegro and whether people from Russia now on the U.S. sanctions list had accounts with banks in Latvia.Earlier this year, U.S. authorities accused Latvia's third biggest bank, ABLV, of money laundering and breaking sanctions on North Korea, prompting its closure and Latvia's worst financial crisis in a decade.
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