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Sunday 28.05.2017 | Name days: Vilhelms, Vilis

Kalnozols: Latvijas Gāze is being used to stifle Latvia’s residents

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvia’s gas market opened on 3 April. However, this change came without any notable benefits and losses for households. At the moment everything shows that alternatives have appeared only for businessmen, whereas the freedom of choice for households is purely theoretical. On top of that, Latvijas Gāze remains a monopoly on the market, says Saeima member Valdis Kalnozols.

LG’s net revenue was EUR 37.5 million last year, said Kalnozols, adding: «As an experienced businessman, I find it confusing that a company that does not produce anything can earn so much. Although the company provides a service – gas supply – the situation makes me wonder – EUR 40 million profits at the expense of Latvian households and no guarantees that gas prices may reduce in the future. It is exactly the opposite – experts say households that pay EUR 20 a year now may be forced to pay EUR 30 in the future. In a few years, we may be faced with a price of EUR 50 just for infrastructure maintenance without the price of gas.»

Experts promise that gas supply offers will be provided to Latvian households in the future, as the gas traders registry now includes local electricity trader Latvenergo and Estonian Eesti Energia’s subsidiary in Latvia Enefit. Multiple Lithuanian gas market players have also entered Latvia’s gas market.

The government has commenced talks with Gazprom and other LG owners about the buy-back of shares in Incukalns underground gas storage facility. The price reported by the media is EUR 200 million. This is the price estimated for Incukalns underground gas storage facility with its gas transmission networks managed by Conexus Baltic Grid. Juris Savickis sits at the chairman of this company’s council, Kalnozols said.

Adding that Savicskis has admitted his readiness to put use his influence in LG to force the state pay shareholders the biggest possible price in the old land case, Kalnozols notes that ‘here it is clear who works in whose interests’.

Continuing, he says: «It is clear that representatives of foreign special services want to delay the acquisition of shares by Latvian state from Gazprom and Itera Latvia at any cost. It is worth saying that German Rurgha representative agreed to sell the shares of Incukalns gas storage facility, but Itera Latvia established a number of conditions. In addition, the media reported last week that Savickis threatens to sue the state if it does not agree to buy shares at his proposed price.»

«Analysing what LG has been up to recently, I get the suspicion that foreign special services may be using this company to destroy Latvia’s people. It is no secret for anyone that the trails of special services left from the Soviet Union go all the way to the top of LG’s management. The press had previously tried studying the past of the people in charge of Itera Latvia and their previous posts in KGB,» Kalnozols says.

Itera Latvia President Juris Savicskis, for example, was the senior authorized figure of LSSR KGB 1st (intelligence) office’s 2nd department. As people often say ‘There are no former KGB agents,’ said the deputy.

Kalnozols is confident that it is vital to put an end to KGB influence: «Twenty five years since the restoration of independence, KGB influence still looms over Latvia. This is why we have to decide – if we want development and welfare for our country, we have to put an end to this influence. I have mentioned may times the problem my family has with KGB – I’m still trying to get my children, who were illegally sent to USA with blessing from special services, to return home. I will not rest while our own law enforcement institutions, such as Constitution Protection Bureau and Prosecutor General’s Office, continue covering up their employees’ association with KGB and manipulating the status of official secrets.»


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