bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Tuesday 20.02.2018 | Name days: Smuidra, Vitauts, Smuidris

Is Latvia Russian enemy No 5?

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+2 rating, 2 votes)

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

Former President of Latvia Valdis Zatlers and Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev

Despite comparatively small territories and population of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania versus Russia, the Baltics still rank in the TOP 5 Russian enemies – right next to such countries as the U.S., Great Britain, China and Georgia, according to the Russian media RBK.

The study analysed historic, social and economic factors. The key apple of discord is the Russian speaking community’s living conditions, the prevailing fascist mood in Latvia and Estonia as well as different perception of historical events. The Baltic countries’ close relationship with the U.S. and intervention with the North European gas pipeline construction also pose a threat, according to the study.

Both Russian and Latvian representatives of national associations based in Latvia point out Latvia is its huge neigbour’s bridge to Europe. However, Latvians criticise the Russian government and vice versa.

Latvia should be proud of its influence

Eriks Jekabsons, politician and ex Justice Minister, thinks there is still «soft power» in Russia and it is aimed at recovering influence not only in the Baltics but also the whole eastern region.

In terms of Russia’s enemies TOP, Jakobsons points out «rasputinism» is still popular in Russia. It means the historical person Rasputin is attributed honesty, dignity and holy powers. But at the same time he is also believed to have been demonic and cruel.

«The same also characterises the Russian politic mentality, which reminds schizophrenia,» he says.

Russian citizens are willing to claim residential permits in Latvia as they feel very comfortable here, according to the Latvian First Party founder, who is currently not in active politics.

Positioning Latvia as an enemy might suggest the Kremlin propaganda. Based on «Rasputin» traditions, the Baltics are usually characterised as being fascist and violating the rights of Russian-speaking communities.

The question is whether this «soft power» is really that soft. It could as well been «hard power» but with a more appealing facade.

However, Jekabsons is not surprised at the Baltics ranking among the top Russian enemies. He ironizes Latvia has also been named the second right after the U.S., so the 5th position could even signal progress.

«What might be threatening them could be the fact Latvia can be regarded as the new Silk Road, a bridge or a window to Europe, bringing new winds to Russia, even draft. We should be proud that such a huge country as Russia really considers that small territory as Latvia,» he says.

Russians doing not so well in Russia

Imants Paradnieks, leader of the politic association All for Latvia!-For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK, points out the TOP reveals a very primitive standpoint.

«It is rather weird to call an enemy a state that is not willing to yield to an ideology someone is trying to bestow upon it,» he says.

He also adds people who move to Russia face worse conditions. Upon returning to Latvia, they have changed their mind and the Russian-speaking community is ready to add to a consolidated society. «Then they also think different of national values», Paradnieks says.

He calls talks on Latvia being an enemy the Kremlin’s policy, as it benefits from such an image of an enemy.

«If an enemy goes hand in hand with a state that refuses to yield to a forced ideology, yes, we can say the survey is precise. Otherwise, it is absurd, as all the nations and states in the world have the right to equality,» Paradnieks adds.

De-stability in Latvia undermines «Russian bridge» to Europe

Victor Guschin, head of Latvian Center of the International Russian Compatriot Council, points out such a survey should be perceived skeptically, as often they serve merely to reflect opinion of different wings and mass media.

He believes there are serious issues in Russia-Latvia relations, however, a clear line should be drawn between the residents’ friendly attitude and the government’s standpoint, which is not that friendly at all.

Already since 1991, there is a policy of transmitting certain interests of the government, including, Russian phobia rhetoric and the outcome of the Second World War. Latvia is still at an informative and psychologic war against the Russian-speaking community.

«Such a policy is dangerous not only for Russia, but also for Latvia,» he says.

Guschin adds that any bid to distance from experience accumulated during the Soviet Union means elimination of business, science and culture. He calls the invasion of western interest – massive.

«What worries the most is whether the approach Latvia advocates will not hit Latvians themselves», he says, adding that any signs of destabilization in Latvia, either economic or demographic, endanger also Russia, because Latvia serves as its bridge to Europe.

Nevertheless, the official representative of the Russian Embassy to Latvia refrained from commenting to BNN the ranking of Latvia in Russia’s list of TOP 5 enemies. He adds that the Embassy does not comment on any information that is not Russia’s official standpoint.

However, it must be noted that in general information published by RBK in the Latvian mass media during the pre-election period could leave a strong impact on voters’ choice on the basis of national issues.


Leave a reply

  1. Hi says:

    Again misleading, provocative heading – bad journalism ! How can the reader take BNN seriously with such style.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. lotus says:

    Why misleading? It’s a question, not a statement. I think this is a serious theme for Latvia and Russia, and it’s good to have as many analytic articles as possible.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. USALATVIA says:

    The World needs people like Eriks Jacobson’s. He’s reminiscent to the equivalent of Ron Paul in America. The one honest Politician left in America. Luckily Latvia has him, one true and honest man!

    In years to come you will watch his World wide popularity grow. We just need the old people and hatred of the Former Soviet Union die off … Once things cool down again and less pressure comes from the Kremlin. It is likely people will be seeing much more of him. God knows the World needs it!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Bub says:

    It is a pity this war never ends between these two nationalities…

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. not important To USALATVIA says:

    Jekabsons – true and honest man (?)
    Are you serious?
    Judgement day coming

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Public opinion: KGB documents should be made publicly accessible immediately

Latvia’s society believes the KGB documents should be made publicly accessible immediately. In addition, residents say they are confident in their ability to discuss those documents without the country’s supervision, which takes the form of expert opinions prevailing over society’s moral views, as stated by guest researcher of History Institute of the University of Latvia M. His. Marta Starostina.

For Latvia’s Development: the prime minister is gone, but finance minister claims otherwise

«What we have observed in the past several days is that Latvia’s financial sector has received several heavy strikes as a result of the government’s uncoordinated and chaotic actions. Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis has evidently ‘disappeared’ and offers no clear plans to resolve the crisis, whereas Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola says different things in every interview. Such behaviour will not help resolve the crisis. It could instead pull the country’s financial sector in a much deeper crisis,» says chairman of For Latvia’s Development Juris Pūce.

Bank of Latvia provided ABLV Bank with a loan of 97.5 mln euros in exchange for securities pledge

The Bank of Latvia has provided ABLV Bank with a loan worth EUR 97.5 million in exchange for securities pledge, as confirmed by the financial institution.

Prime Minister: Bank of Latvia governor is not allowed to take official post

As a security measure, the governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmārs Rimšēvičs has been applied with a prohibition to take post, said Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis after a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Poland's halt to logging in ancient forest came after irreparable damage

Although Poland has stated logging in the old-growth Bialowieza forest has been stopped, Warsaw has failed to reveal the amount of trees already cut down.

«A good friend» pays 100,000 euro bail for arrested governor of the Bank of Latvia

Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (CPCB) has applied a bail of 100,000 euros for the arrested governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmārs Rimšēvičs. The bail has already been paid to the State Treasury account, as confirmed by his lawyer Saulvedis Vārpiņš.

NP: ABLV blames Latvian officials for misleading foreign institutions

Last week, the reputation of Latvia’s second largest bank – ABLV – was seriously impacted. It is believed that money laundering was this bank’s main operation, and that it failed to comply with the prohibition on cooperation with North Korea. The bank is also accused of bribery. US Department of the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network rarely speaks so directly of any credit institution, says Nekā personīga programme.

Changes to third-country student residence in Estonia to add more responsibilities to university staff

The Estonian government has backed planned amendments are to the Aliens Law implementing an EU directive into Estonian law, which change how third-country nationals on enter and reside in Estonia if they are study or performing research work.

Russia criticises U.S. charges of Russian meddling in U.S. election

The Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergei Lavrov, has criticised the charges announced by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, against 13 Russian nationals and three companies for election meddling.

Government plans to form four riot prevention units in Latvian regions

The State Police plans to form four riot prevention units in Latvia’s regions, says Chief of State Police Ints Ķuzis.

Syrian Kurdish fighters under attack by Turkey announce deal with Syrian government forces

The mainly Kurdish militia in the north-west of Syria have announced having reached an agreement with the Syrian government for the latter to deploy its soldiers in order to help Kurds repel the current Turkish attack.

NCP: it is highly important to replace management of Bank of Latvia and FCMC

Considering recent events, which have not only impacted the country’s finance sector but also its international reputation, the New Conservative Party (NCP) demands immediate measures to be undertaken to replace the management of the Bank of Latvia and the Finance and Capital Market Commission. On top of that, it is also necessary to perform radical changes in the organization and supervision of those institutions, says NCP chairman Jānis Bordāns.

Air temperature in Latvia to gradually decline this week

On Monday, 19 February, atmospheric pressure will increase slightly in the north. With that, it is expected to snow only around Kurzeme’s south-west. Air temperature in most of Latvia will stay at -1° C… -6° C. In Kurzeme, however, air temperature will be around 0° C… +1° C, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Week in Lithuania. Lithuania celebrating centennial of statehood

Leaders of European countries gathered in Vilnius on Friday, February 16, to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of restored statehood, and festive events were taking place in many cities and towns of Lithuania.

BNN summary of the week: minister threatened with dismissal; ABLV Bank scandal

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Change; Fight; Court; Problem; Decline; Commentary; Future; Proposal

SRS uncovered violations in 169 inspections at catering companies last year

In 2017, the State Revenue Service (SRS) performed a total of 989 inspections at 212 catering companies. This includes 182 thematic inspections for 125 taxpayers. Violations were uncovered in 169 inspections. The most common violation was manipulation with cash registers, according to information published by SRS.

Russian tourists often decide to celebrate International Women’s Day in Riga

To satisfy growing demand for bus tickets from Russia to Latvia for the week when 8 March is celebrated, Lux Express plans to organize additional buses between St Petersburg and Riga.

FCMC to investigate ABLV Bank again; no operational restrictions applied to the bank

Latvia’s Finance and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) has plans to perform an additional investigation at ABLV Bank in the next couple of weeks, says the commission’s manager Pēters Putniņš, adding that no operational restrictions have been applied to the bank so far.

Study: overall sense of happiness in Latvia is record-low

60% of Latvian residents feel happy. Although this is a good index, there has been a general decline of the sense of happiness, according to a study performed by Amigo mobile network operator and SKDS to assess the level of happiness of Latvian residents.

Raid reveals some taxi drivers in Riga do not have valid driver’s license

A raid was performed by the State Revenue Service and Riga Municipal Police to check taxi service providers in the capital. Authorities uncovered a total of 81 violations in 48 cases, BNN was informed by SRS.

Estonia sea ice crash: last missing body found

Nine days after a van with six people inside drove onto the ice of the Baltic Sea in south-western Estonia, the body of the last victim has been found.

Delna invites immediate investigation of claims about ABLV Bank’s money laundering schemes

The decision by US Finance Ministry’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to apply sanctions against ABLV Bank for involvement in money laundering schemes and bribery of officials was not a surprise. It is a sign for acute need to continue improving investigative and supervisory institutions’ ability to prevent money laundering through Latvia, as noted by Delna – Society for Openness.

Estonian income tax should be simplified, parties believe

The existing income tax scheme in Estonia should be simplified, three parties in the Estonian Riigikogu find, but there are differences in opinion as to maintaining the current state budget income. Meanwhile, the opposition Reform Party has voiced backing for an annual tax-free income of 6,000 a year to every earner.

Baltics propose increasing member states’ contributions to EU budget after Brexit

Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia invite European Union member states to increase contributions to the EU budget after 2020 in order to make sure available funds do not drop after UK’s exit.

Instagram obeys Russian internet censor to block content on corruption allegations

In the atmosphere of the March Russian presidential election, social network Instagram has submitted to the demands of Russia's internet censorship body and blocked in the country content with corruption claims voiced by Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny.