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Wednesday 23.08.2017 | Name days: Valgudis, Ralfs, Vitālijs

Editor challenges Riga Mayor

(+3 rating, 3 votes)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Nils Ushakov (on the left) and Gregory Zubarev

On September 27, 2011, TV channel TV-5 broadcast a story about a picket organized outside the Saeima building. People protested against Riga City Council’s decision to handle and store over a million tons of ammonium nitrate in Riga Port. Terrorists all over the world have been using the highly explosive substance as the key component in their attacks. Upon commenting on the story, Riga Mayor Nils Ushakov pointed out that ammonium nitrate does not pose any threat to Riga and its residents.

He was also surprised by the fact that an Austrian news agency has a portal in Russian – According to him, the aim of BNN publications is to lobby interests of unknown rivals to the terminal that has not been built yet.

The incorrect Ushakov’s statements encouraged Gregory Zubarev, member of BNN Editorial Board and head of BNN Baltic version, to address him in an open letter. The text of it is as follows:

Dear Chairman of Riga City Council,

It is a pity that while comforting Riga residents that ammonium nitrate does not pose any danger, you did not mention that in this case it will be used as mineral fertilizer. We did not hear a word from you about how easily ammonium nitrate can detonate. Neither did you speak of how easy it is to buy the necessary components and turn ammonium nitrate into an infernal machine. Similarly, you also failed to recall that it was exactly this highly dangerous substance that was used for blowing up Moscow airport, Minsk metro and Oslo government building.

We have not yet heard of any measures Riga City Council has taken to rule out even the slightest possibility of terrorist attacks along the entire rail route of ammonium nitrate travelling from Russia to Riga Port. Not to mention the fact that the dangerous substance will be handled near other terminals operating with oil products, liquefied gas and chemicals.

Riga Mayor, let’s ask TV-5 to broadcast our meeting live and we will both answer to the following questions:

1. Who benefits and who not from Riga being full of ammonium nitrate?

2. How transparent is the terminal construction and how proper procedures have been implemented in the course of the project?

3. How true are Riga City Council’s statement on the economical benefit of handling and storing ammonium nitrate?

4. Why did the French city Dieppe refuse Uralhim terminal construction, while Riga gave it the whole bank of the River Daugava ?

5. How much does security cost and what expects Riga and its people in case of a terrorist attack or detonation of 90 thousand tons of ammonium nitrate?

6. What would be the damage to Riga and its inhabitants if an explosion did occur?

Moreover, if you want, at our meeting on TV-5, I will clear away your confusion about the fact that an Austrian news agency has a resource in Russian. By the way, it also has other foreign agencies. I am sure that you as a former journalist will understand.


Member of BNN Editorial Board,

Head of BNN Baltic version,

Gregory Zubarev,

Director of SIA Media support

Leave a reply

  1. WaterFall says:

    Waiting for the fight of the month!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. press says:

    Yes, many of would like to hear this discussion.
    Bnn…it good to see you are working on VERY interesting stories. Congrats

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Ryne says:

    I recokn you are quite dead on with that.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Mavrick says:

    Home run! Great slugging with that anwser!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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