Latviski English По-русски
Wednesday 21.03.2018 | Name days: Una, Unigunde, Dzelme, Benedikts

Baltic parliamentarians receive U.S. support for regional security

(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«The main message received from U.S. senators is that Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have no reasons to worry about non-compliance with NATO obligations from their allies,» – notes Saeima Foreign Affairs Committee’s chairman Ojars Eriks Kalnins.

«This was a historic meeting in the Senate, which was attended by 8% of all senators. Such a large representation of senators in talks with Baltic parliamentarians proves – we are strategic partners,» – says the head of Saeima’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

A joint Baltic parliamentarians delegation is currently on a visit in Washington, USA. It is the first visit of Baltic parliamentarians to Washington after the presidential elections in USA. The meeting with senators was hosted by Mitch McConnel, leader of the majority in the U.S. Senate, as BNN was informed by Saeima’s press-service.

Kalnins said that Baltic parliamentarians received support from U.S. House of Representatives and praise for accomplishments on the road towards allocating 2% of GDP for defence in 2018.

After discussing the decision made at the NATO summit in Warsaw in regards to constant presence of allied forces in Baltics and Poland, Latvia’s delegation informed their American colleagues about the active work that is being carried out in the country – creation of a multi-national battalion combat group under Canada’s leadership.

Kalnins described the visit to Washington as a successful one.

As part of the visit organized by Latvia, members of the delegation met with Senator Mitch McConnel and the Senate’s leading senators, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker and Co-Chairman Ben Cardin, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain and members of the committee. Baltic parliamentarians also met with Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ed Royce, the committee’s co-chairman Eliot Engel and other important figures of the U.S. Senate.

In Washington, Baltic parliamentarians also met with representatives of the European Policy Analysis Centre and took part in a discussion with experts about transatlantic cooperation, security of the Baltic region and NATO matters in The Heritage Foundation think tank and round-table discussion organized by The Atlantic Council.

Latvia’s delegation consists of Ojars Eriks Kalnins, deputy Artis Rasmanis and Martins Bondars.

Saeima’s press-service reports that Chairperson of the parliament’s National Security Committee Solvita Aboltina and Chairman of Defence, Interior and Corruption Prevention Committee Ainars Latkovskis presented Congressman Robert Pittenger a letter of invitation and asked him to attend one of the meetings in the Latvian parliament.

Chairpersons of both committees expressed confidence that modern security challenges increase the necessity for coordinated actions. This is why it is an honour and an opportunity for Latvia to speak up and actualize important security matters in Latvia and Baltic region as part of this parliamentary cooperation platform.


Leave a reply

  1. Ivars Bezdechi says:

    The last time the United States pledged support to the Baltic States was during World War II. And we all know that resulted of being under the Russian boot for over 60 years. Mr. Kalnins’ naivete is unbelievable. Just as Barack Obama’s “line in the sand” was constantly shifting towards Syria, the same goes towards the Baltics. Obama and Biden have made very nice chooch-e-coo with the Baltics and given Mr. Kalnins the words he wants to hear. The straight truth that in spite of “assurances,” the American public will not support having their sons and daughters on the front line having their blood spilled on Baltic soil. First of all, most Americans still don’t know where the “Baltics” are — they confuse “Baltics” with “Balkans” — even if they know that.

    With his white hair and stately demeanor, I’m sure that Kalnins was able to evoke very nice words of support to the guy speaking English with a touch of an Eastern European accent. But until the Baltics make their case to the world about their existence and why the must be defended, Kalnins’ assurances about Baltic security don’t mean a hill of beans.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Linda says:

      if the USA doesn’t know where the Baltics are how come there are USA et al troops stationed there?

      Do take your point about large states promising things that they don’t deliver; a mote point is the British allowing Baltic ordering and paying for weapons in 1937/38 and not delivering them!

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Finance sector’s development council supports prohibition of shell companies

On Wednesday, 21 March, Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis’ managed Finance Sector’s Development Council supported initiative on prohibiting shell companies, as confirmed by the prime minister.

Level of producer prices in Latvia’s industry is up 3.4%

Compared to January, level of producer prices in the Latvian industry rose by 0.5 % in February 2018. Prices of products sold on the domestic market grew by 0.7 %, but prices of exported products went up by 0.3 %.

Minister: Latvia is far behind its neighbours in terms of digitization and e-skills

In terms of digitization and e-skills, Latvia is far behind its neighbouring countries and the rest of Europe, said Latvian Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

OECD: Latvian employees work longest hours in Baltics

In a comparison of Baltic countries per average annual hours worked, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has found earlier this year that the average Latvian worker spends 1,910 hours at work, followed by the Lithuanian employee with 1,885 hours and the average Estonian worker with 1,855 hours.

12th Saeima failed to complete half of its pre-election promises in field of justice

In 2014, Delna – society for openness and Providus think tank received support from all parties represented in the 12th Saeima in regards to an action plan to help strengthen the rule of law in the country.

Russia carries out military drills in Gulf of Finland

Russian Defence Ministry has stated that in the Baltic Sea Gulf of Finland, which has Finland, Russia and Estonia in its coastline, the Russian military has performed drills for its tactical special operations units.

Prime minister doubts Anti-Money Laundering Service head’s competence

«The work performed by the service requires drastic changes. Whether or not it can be done by its current head [Viesturs Burkāns], I am not sure,» said Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis in an interview to LNT, commenting on the work performed by Latvian Anti-Money Laundering Service.

Vilnius chosen for office of game developer Lockwood Publishing from UK

UK's mobile game developer Lockwood Publishing has unveiled plans to open its first overseas office in Vilnius, pointing to the industry's talent in Lithuania and the wider region.

Association: municipalities should organize their work on their own

On 6 March, Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments reviewed the letter sent to Riga City Council by Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry, in which the institution ordered the municipality to review their internal order and lift restrictions on the length of debates and the number of questions deputies are allowed to ask.

Canada moves to increase gun control

Canada's federal federal government has proposed new gun control measures, but they could reduce support to the ruling Liberal Party in rural areas, where guns are widely owned and used.

Minister: EU should work on rules to make sure social networks cannot be manipulated

«European Union needs to react to the Facebook data scandal and develop strict regulations to make sure social networks cannot be used to manipulate people. Appropriate regulations are needed in the matter regarding political campaigns performed on social networks, which is gradually becoming a common occurrence nowadays,» says Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs.

Profits of Latvian State Roads increased by 8.6% last year

Turnover of Latvian State Roads reached EUR 14.529 million last year, which is 10.3% more when compared to 2016. The company’s profits increased by 8.6% - to EUR 59,485, according to the published interim financial report.

Slovak President casts doubt over impartiality of proposed government

In a continuation of the political crisis in Slovakia, Slovak President Andrej Kiska has not accepted a the newly proposed government deeming it possibly unable to supervise an impartial investigation of the two murders that have shaken the Eastern European nation.

France's ex-leader Sarkozy in custody over links with Libya

French ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy has been taken in custody on March 20 and was held in custody on Tuesday and interrogated amid an investigation into whether late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi added funds to his 2007 election campaign.

KVV Liepājas metalurgs’ steelworks bought out by Austrian Smart Stahl

The auction for the sale of the insolvent KVV Liepājas metalurgs rolling mill equipment concluded with the victory of Austrian Smart Stahl GmbH, as confirmed by insolvency administrator Guntars Koris.

Entomologist: at least 5% of ticks in Latvia are infected with encephalitis

There have been cases of tick activity during the winter period in Latvia this year. As air temperature increases, ticks become active and start popping up. This means residents should seriously consider vaccination to avoid getting encephalitis from tick bites, entomologists say.

Rail Baltica station’s construction at Riga airport will cost EUR 4.5 million

Creation of a separate railway station and related infrastructure at Riga International Airport as part of Rail Baltica project will cost EUR 4.5 million, says the project’s manager in Latvia and board member of European Railway Lines company Andris Linužs.

Norwegian minister steps down to keep minority government in power

In a move to avoid the collapse of the Norwegian minority government, its Justice Minister Sylvi Listhaug resigned amid a political storm she had caused by blaming an opposition party of not being harsh enough toward terrorism suspects.

Political party calls for immediate action to resolve «over-salted Riga» problem

Member of For Latvia’s Development political party’s Riga City Council faction Ansis Ansbergs urges the administration to find a quick solution to the excessive use of salt during the winter season because it has a negative impact on both human and animal health, as well as the state of buildings, cars and plant life in the capital.

MEP: fair competition should be secured for all European farmers

Sixteen members of the European Parliament from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland submitted a joint proposal on Monday, 19 March, for a resolution regarding the future of the Common Agricultural Policy with a request to equalize the level of direct payments across all of Europe starting from 2021.

Estonia prison sentence upheld to Syrian man for causing burns to wife

In the Estonian criminal case, where a Syrian man has been convicted to 10 years in prison over causing corporal damage to his wife by setting her on fire, Estonian Supreme Court has rejected his appeal.

Olainfarm’s sales volume increased by 16% over the course of the year

Provisional consolidated data from Olainfarm for February 2018 shows that product sales volumes have reached EUR 10.69 million, which is 33% more when compared with the same period of 2017.

Minister: it is not impossible for banks to reduce number of risky clients to 5%

It is not impossible for Latvian banks to reduce the number of risky clients to 5%, says Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola.

Syrian Afrin left by 220 000 civilians, Turkish-supported rebels loot town

After seizing the northern Syrian town of Afrin from Kurdish militia, Syrian rebels supported by Turkey have been looting properties, journalists have reported. The town has been left by estimated 220 000 civilians.

Ministry orders Riga City Council to lift restrictions on questions

Latvia’s Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry has asked Riga City Council to act and fix violations of democratic principles in the newly approved rules for deputies.