French president to go to Lithuania and Latvia amid Russia tensions

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PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron will visit Lithuania and Latvia this month and see French NATO troops in the region, Macron’s department said on Wednesday, amid tensions between the European Union and Russia and Belarus.

During his visit, scheduled to take place from Sept. 28-30, Macron will hold talks with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, Latvian President Egils Levits and Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins.

Belarus’s upper house of parliament said this week that neighbouring Lithuania had violated international law when it recognised opposition politician Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya as Belarusian leader on Sept. 10.

Germany and France this week urged Russia to explain what happened to Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny after laboratories in Germany, France and Sweden independently confirmed that he had been poisoned with the Soviet-style nerve agent Novichok.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau; Editing by Kevin Liffey)