Latvia bans Russian judges from military simulation contest

An association of airsoft players in Latvia is expressing outrage after three Russian contest judges were deported before the start of a tournament for teams that use replica weapons and plastic pellets in military simulations.

The Latvian Airsoft Players Association said the Open Baltic Airsoft Cup 2017 will be rescheduled after the Russians were banned from the one-day competition.

The association said it communicated "intensively" with Latvian authorities ahead of the "sport event" that was expected to draw about 300 participants. It says the tournament likely will be moved to another country.

The Russian judges entered Latvia legally. However, Latvia's Security Police told the Baltic News Service "an efficient control mechanism" was needed to prevent "military tactical trainings in Latvia."

Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania are concerned about Moscow's military muscle in the Baltic region.