bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Tuesday 21.04.2015 | Name days: Marģers, Anastasija
LatviaLatvia

Defence Ministry: shooting down of Malaysian Boeing 777 proves Russia’s policy is a threat to Europe

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«The shooting down of Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 is tragic proof of Latvia’s opinion that Russia’s policy in Ukraine creates real threats to safety and stability of the Euro Atlantic region,» – admits Latvian Defence Minister Raimonds Vejonis.

«Uncontrolled distribution of military hardware of any kind poses a threat to Europe and the rest of the world,» – says the minister, expressing his deepest condolences in regard to the recent tragic air catastrophe in Ukraine.

Latvian Defence Minister emphasizes that this tragedy only serves as proof of Latvia’s opinion in the matter of expanding the presence of NATO forces in the Baltic Region.

Ever since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis, Latvian National Armed Forces have been guarding the country’s borders especially carefully. NATO has also increased airspace patrolling measures in the region. On top of that, Latvia regularly exchanges information with its NATO partners and participates in military exercises, as reported by Defence Ministry.

Defence Ministry has performed an analysis of the possible effect the catastrophe could have on the region. The institution has also compiled a list of priorities worth developing. These proposals cover areas like increasing self-defence capabilities, improvement of battle-readiness of specific units and development of early-warning systems.

BNN had previously reported that there had been multiple incidents in Ventspils involving sailors who are part of the ‘Open Spirit 2014’ mine-hunting operation earlier this year. A Dutch sailor was seriously injured and was hospitalized in Ziemelkurzeme Regional Hospital after suffering a blunt force trauma to the head.

Dutch ambassador in Latvia Hendrik Gerrit Cornelis van den Dool notes that this particular incident is being investigated by the Military Police and State Police. He added that sides should not announce provocative assumptions until details of what actually happened are uncovered. ‘Neither I, nor Mr. Lembergs were present at the incident,» – said the diplomat.

«Many different incidents can occur in Ventspils. However, we should keep in mind that the city’s Mayor is responsible for its security,» – said the ambassador, noting the state of the 21-year-old Dutch sailor is serious.

In order to criticize the presence of NATO forces in Ventspils, Russian state media Russia Today uses some of the most colourful statements Aivars Lembergs has to offer on the situation. The article with the title ‘Peed in public, behave like occupiers’: Latvian mayor complains about NATO sailors’ RT condemned NATO in Latvia. The article also includes multiple citations of Lembergs opinion on the presence of foreign military forces in Ventspils.

RT cited the «outspoken critic of Latvian-NATO cooperation» and his opinion that NATO sailors «behaved like occupiers, who do not recognize Latvia’s sovereignty».

Aivars Lembergs’ friendly relations with Russia, including one of his latest statements that the only ones to benefit from the presence NATO soldiers in Latvia would be the prostitutes, was picked up by Russian media in the past as well.

As a result, Lembergs once said on Russian television: «We all know how Americans behaved in Japan, Iraq, Vietnam and many other corners of the world. Latvia has a treaty with USA that states that American soldiers are to be stand trial in USA for any offences they perform in Latvia. This is why I believe it is very dangerous to have foreign military forces present in Latvia,» – he said.

Lembergs’ opinion has not gone unnoticed in Latvia. Social networks are filled with a furious storm over this kind of opinion. High-rank Latvian officials express their thoughts on this as well. Former Latvian Defence Minister Artis Pabriks condemned Lembergs’ statements on his Twitter page; rhetorically asking if anyone in Ventspils would like to follow the example set up by Donetsk – request independence and join Russia.

Latvia’s current Defence Minister Raimonds Vejonis distances himself from the matter, referencing his previous decision not to dwell on such statements. In spite of this, he continues to receive angry comments from society. According to the people, such a position of a minister sounds more like «I don’t care» or «leave me alone».

Public figures express deep concern over the fact that Kremlin’s main television channel shows how the most popular politician of the Union of Greens and Farmers – Lembergs – openly says NATO is a threat to Europe and Russia. They add that Lembergs’ party For Latvia and Ventspils should be expelled from UGF.

Unity’s representative, MEP of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Inese Vaidere told BNN that Lembergs most recent statements came as a complete surprise for her. She believes such an attitude towards this matter is irresponsible. «NATO is the only guarantee of Latvia’s security at the moment. Mr Lembergs might not have noticed what is currently going on in Ukraine and what happened in Moldova and Georgia after Russia’s attempts to create the Eurasian Union or even restore the Soviet Union, hoping to include these countries in it,» – said Vaidere.

«It is unfathomable how the Union of Greens and Farmers could propose a person with such views as a possible candidate for the post of Prime Minister of Latvia. We can only imagine Latvia’s fate if he had become Prime Minister at some point,» – says MEP and Chairman of For Fatherland and Freedom/ LNNK party Roberts Zīle.

He believes UGF should decide whether they, as the political party responsible for Defence Ministry and Latvia’s ties to NATO, represent Latvia as a country tied to Western values or a country turned towards Kremlin’s Eurasian Union ideology.

«These two political vectors cannot meet. This is why we expect this political party to provide a clear opinion and make a political choice – either such statements are acceptable for them or they are not. If UGF remains silent, then there is a high probability that this party may form a coalition with Harmony Centre or any other pro-Kremlin party that may end up in the Saeima after the elections. This scenario is very dangerous, because it may lead to Latvia’s exit from NATO and notable increase of Russia’s influence,» – believes Zīle.

Ref: 102.109.109.4235


Leave a reply

  1. mike walsh says:

    So, without a shred of evidence, Russia is found to be guilty of the downing of the Malayan airliner tragedy (Ukrainian debacle and destruction of the God Almighty buck). This is pure Stalin Show Trial politics.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Linda says:

      Prove that Russia is not supplying the hardware!

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • mike walsh says:

        TEN QUESTIONS FOR THE UKRAINIAN AUTHORITIES

        1. Immediately after the tragedy, the Ukrainian authorities, naturally, blamed it on the self-defense forces. What are these accusations based on?

        2. Can Kiev explain in detail how it uses Buk missile launchers in the conflict zone? And why were these systems deployed there in the first place, seeing as the self-defense forces don’t have any planes?

        3. Why are the Ukrainian authorities not doing anything to set up an international commission? When will such a commission begin its work?

        4. Would the Ukrainian Armed Forces be willing to let international investigators see the inventory of their air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles, including those used in SAM launchers?

        5. Will the international commission have access to tracking data from reliable sources regarding the movements of Ukrainian war planes on the day of the tragedy?
        6. Why did Ukrainian air traffic controllers allow the plane to deviate from the regular route to the north, towards “the anti-terrorist operation zone”?

        7. Why was airspace over the war zone not closed for civilian flights, especially since the area was not entirely covered by radar navigation systems?

        8. How can official Kiev comment on reports in the social media, allegedly by a Spanish air traffic controller who works in Ukraine, that there were two Ukrainian military planes flying alongside the Boeing 777 over Ukrainian territory?

        9. Why did Ukraine’s Security Service start working with the recordings of communications between Ukrainian air traffic controllers and the Boeing crew and with the data storage systems from Ukrainian radars without waiting for international investigators?

        10. What lessons has Ukraine learned from a similar incident in 2001, when a Russian Tu-154 crashed into the Black Sea? Back then, the Ukrainian authorities denied any involvement on the part of Ukraine’s Armed Forces until irrefutable evidence proved official Kiev to be guilty.

        11. Why has Kiev refused to accept an international commission inquiry?

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • jj says:

          With the exception of adding an 11th question (which is completely untrue anyway), this is word for word the same as an article appearing in RT.com.

          We can read that ourselves without you needing to copy it here.

          Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • mike walsh says:

            Here is freedom to him who would speak, / Here is freedom to him who would write; / For there is none ever feared that the truth should be heard, / Save him whom the truth would indict! – ROBERT BURNS (1759–96).

            Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Additions to Android Wear to allow smartwatch users to leave their smartphones at home

To date, smartwatches and other wearable computer devices, could not be used if the smartphone was not close by, but this is about to change, according to Google.

Serial apartments not expected to have rapid price rise in Latvia

The serial apartment prices increased per 0.5% since January this year, while they rose per 1.9% since last March, indicates the Arco Real Estate newest market overview. The Member of the Board of the enterprise Māris Laukalējs explains that the serial apartment price increase is a positive real estate market feature that testifies development.

SRS: turnover at Gan Bei rises significantly; wages grow as well

The Gan Bei chain of restaurants that was recently caught performing fraudulent activities with its cash register systems was not closed down. It is necessary for this business to function in order to provide jobs to residents, as noted by the head of Latvian State Revenue Service Inara Petersone.

Latvian government adopts stricter requirements for tattoo and piercing service providers

This April, the Cabinet of Ministers has approved new requirements for tattoo and piercing service providers in order to protect consumers from different health risks that could occur if the service provider does not comply with hygiene requirements – cleaning, disinfecting and sterilization of tools. These amendments will come into force January 1st, 2016.

NATO international navy exercises to be carried out in the Baltic Sea

This Wednesday, April 22nd, NATO Naval Forces Command will hold the Dynamic Mercy 2015 military exercises in neutral waters of the Baltic Sea. This training event is meant to improve cooperation of inter-governmental units and personnel management in a situation of large scale rescue operation at sea.

Estonian Russian-language anti-propaganda channel named ETV+

Estonian public broadcaster ERR is moving ahead with the new Russian-language TV channel to be launched later this year. ETV+ has been selected as the name of the channel, while German Deutsche Welle will it Russian-language content.

Straujuma: the sale of Citadele is economically beneficial for Latvia

Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma is certain that the sale of Citadele Bank to Ripplewood and 12 international investors is a successful deal, as reported by lsm.lv.

Coalition partners continue discussing potential presidential candidates

Political powers of the ruling coalition in Latvia continue discussing potential candidates for the post of President of Latvia in order to find the most appropriate one for this high-rank post.

Greece asks its public institutions to hand over reserve cash to state

The Greek government on Monday, April 20, issued a decree asking public sector bodies to hand over any reserve cash to the state so that it could make a dept payment to the International Monetary Fund.

Warmth to return to Latvia this week

Warmth is expected to return to Latvia after a period of cold weather. While air temperature remains no higher than +5° C…+10° C, warmer masses of air will be carried to Latvia following the change of direction of the wind at the end of the week.

Researchers find out areas in Latvia that have the oldest dwellings

The average age of inhabited dwellings in Latvia is 48 years: in cities - 46 years, and in rural areas - 51 years.

Latvia’s Green Party plans to propose Vejonis as its presidential candidate

Following talks with the Union of Greens and Farmers, Latvian Green Party could decide to propose Defence Minister Raimonds Vejonis as its official presidential candidate.

Candidates most often mentioned by Latvians – Levits, Kalniete and Bondars

Manspresidents.lv portal, which opened up for residents on April 20th, provides an opportunity to give a virtual vote to one of five candidates for the post of President of Latvia that received the most support from residents.

Most residents welcome Berzins’ decision not to take part in presidential elections

68% of respondents welcome the decision by President of Latvia Andris Berzins not to participate in the upcoming presidential elections.

EU considers search operation in Mediterranean after news on 700 immigrants having drowned

After reports that on the way to the EU over the Mediterranean about 700 African migrants have drowned, the EU is considering launching larger search and rescue operation.

Vilks: UGF’s proposal to think more about spending could serve to ruin the government

It has become popular to write off almost all expenses of Latvian ministries as measures to strengthen state security. This is done specifically to make it hard to oppose them. This applies to wages of fire fighters, postmen, railway workers, road maintenance expenses, teachers’ wage reformation and possible raising of minimum wages in Latvia.

Estonian first family to divorce

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and his wife Evelin are to divorce, the President's Office has announced.

Skele’s family becomes involved in fast loan business

Ex-prime minister Andris Skele’s family has entered the fast loans business. Skele’s son-in-law Edgars Dupats became one of the co-owners of 4finance this February. This company is more widely known under SMScredit and Vivus trademarks.

After Finnish general election centrists might push conservatives away from power

After Finland's general election was held on Sunday, April 19, the ruling National Coalition, which came second, might be pushed out of the government after years of economic stagnation and much needed but unaccomplished structural reforms.

Lithuania’s political and economic diary. Man threatens to blow up Lithuania’s Presidential Palace

The man who threatened to explode a bomb outside the Lithuanian President’s Office on Wednesday evening, April 15, appears to be mentally unstable, Vilnius police chief Kęstutis Lančinskas said.

Economic Diary of Latvia. Baltic States join forces to combat shadow economy

This week, Finance Ministry submitted Latvia’s stability programme for 2015-2018 to the European Commission for review. This document is something of an action plan in the sphere of economics and taxes.

Gauss earned nearly EUR 1 million over in airBaltic in 2014

CEO of Latvian National airBaltic airline Martin Gauss earned a total of EUR 935,225 in 2014, according to his declaration for that year.

Loginov earned EUR 151,029 at Riga Freeport and Riga Freeport Fleet last year

Last year, Leonid Loginov, head of Riga Freeport, earned a total of EUR 77,081 for his work at the port and an additional EUR 79,948 for his work in Riga Freeport Fleet, according to his declaration.

Ilsteris wants to create an internal monitoring department within prosecutor’s office

The prosecutor’s office needs an internal monitoring department that would work to prevent potential risks related to conflicts of interests and matters of properties, admits prosecutor Janis Ilsteris, who is also one of the main candidates for the post of Prosecutor General.

SP request launch of criminal prosecution for calls to liquidate Latvia’s independence

This Friday, April 17th, Latvian Security Police submitted materials of a criminal case to the prosecutor’s office with a request to launch criminal prosecution of a Latvian resident for a petition he posted on www.avaaz.org in favour of Latvia joining the Russian Federation.