BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Change; Fight; Decline; Truth and Future.
Change: Putin allows all Latvian and Estonian non-citizens to travel to Russia without a visa
On Wednesday, 5 April, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree that provides the right for Latvian and Estonian non-citizens born after 6 February 1992, when Soviet citizenship ceased to exist, to travel to the country without a visa.
The decree, which provides amendments to the 17 June 2008 decree, comes into force at the moment of signing, according to the document available on the Russian federal legislative acts portal.
The 2008 decree stated that people without certain nationality to travel to Russia without a visa if those people previously had USSR citizenship. Visa-free regime was secured by this decree for people born before 6 February 1992.
The new decree cancels this restriction, allowing all Latvian and Estonian non-citizens to travel to Russia with only their non-citizen passport issued in Latvia or foreigner passport issued in Estonia.
Amendments were prepared by Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry following an order from Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Fight: U.S. attacks Assad regime for first time, reacting to suspected chemical attack
U.S. army has for the first time during the Syrian Civil War attacked Syrian government forces, insisting it is a response to a suspected chemical weapons attack on an town controlled by Syrian rebels, where dozens of civilians have been killed.
BBC cited the U.S. defence ministry as stating that 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired at 04:40 Syrian time from destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean targeting aircraft, aircraft shelters, storage areas, ammunition supply bunkers, air defence systems, and radars at Shayrat airfield in western Homs province, Syria.
Decline: Pulks: Riga City Council gives away 17 million euros without tendering procedure
Over the course of the past five years, more than EUR 17 million was spend with no tendering procedure on Riga City Council’s single information system’s maintenance. Politician Olafs Pulks from Unity suspects certain municipal officials of having selfish interests.
Pulks has sent a letter to prosecutor general Eriks Kalnmeiers, Competition Council Chairman Skaidrite Abrama and State Auditor Elita Krumina, asking them to assess the actions of Riga City Council officials in picking a service provider without first performing a tendering procedure. Over the course of the past five years, more than EUR 17 million has been spent on maintenance of Riga City Council’s Single Information System.
Truth: Investigators determine the identity of St Petersburg metro bomber
Russian investigators have determined the identity of the man who detonated an explosive in St Petersburg metro. In the interest of the investigation, the name of this man is not revealed, as reported by Investigation Committee representative Svetlana Petrenko on Tuesday, 4 April.
«Investigation conducted by the Investigation Committee, Interior Affairs Ministry and Federal Security Service has helped determine that the explosive in the metro may have had been detonated by a man whose remains were found in the third cart of the metro train. His identity has been determined as well, but in the interest of the investigation, information about him cannot be revealed at this time,» Petrenko said.
Future: Kirkup: if Transneft ceases oil exports through Baltics, LatRosTrans will not be sustainable
If LatRosTrans co-owner Transneft decides to cease oil product exports through Baltic ports, LatRosTrans will no longer be sustainable, says the company’s council chairman Robert Kirkup.
He says LatRosTrans had experienced a major transport volume decline in 2016 – from 4.7 million tonnes of oil products in 2015 to only 3.6 million tonnes last year. The company worked with a degree of profits, which was largely thanks to reduced costs.