Putin's favorite singer banned entry to Latvia

Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs reported on his Facebook page that the famous Russian singer Grigory Leps (Lepsveridze) was banned entry to Latvia.

"Taking into account the assessment of the security services in accordance to the migration law, I decided to include Russian citizen Grigory Lepsveridze in the list of undesirable persons of the Republic of Latvia, banning him entry to Latvia indefinitely," said Latvian Foreign Minister. Rinkēvičs did not give any other reasons for his decision.

The last concert with the participation of Leps in Latvia took place in July this year. The singer performed at the Laima Vaikule's festival in Jurmala.

The Latvian Interior Minister Sandis Ģirģens attended the concert. He was sharply criticized by the Latvian Minister of Justice Jānis Bordāns and other deputies of the Latvian parliament, saying that Leps is a "singer of the Russian mafia" and one of Putin's favorite performers.

Shortly before this scandal, another former Soviet Republic, Lithuania, banned Leps from entering the country.

Honored Artist of the Republic of Ingushetia, People's Artist of Karachay-Cherkessia and Merited Artist of the Russian Federation Grigory Leps is not allowed to enter several other countries.

The United States was the first country to declare him persona non grata in 2013. American authorities have found the connection of the singer with the Brothers' Circle criminal group, and that he is involved in the drug trade. Leps called the accusation "ridiculous and delusional."

In 2016, the UK banned Leps from entering the country, and Israel closed its border for the artist in May 2018. However, five days after the decision to close the singer's entry into Israel, the Israeli authorities suddenly changed their minds and allowed him to hold several concerts in Tel Aviv and Haifa.

  Leps, Latvia, Putin