bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Sunday 20.05.2018 | Name days: Venta, Salvis, Selva
LatviaLatvia

LTV: UGF ministers looked naïve when having lunch with Russia’s Vice-Prime Minister

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIt is possible that Latvia’s representatives at the informal lunch with Russian Vice-Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich looked rather naïve, as concluded by De Facto programme of LTV. They asked Dovrkovich – do decisions made by Russia’s railway and gas industry have a political or business context?

Latvian Agriculture Minister Janis Duklavs, who was the organizer of the informal lunch from Latvia, will have to explain himself at the upcoming coalition parties meeting on Monday. He will also have to tell coalition partners about the results of those talks. Currently, there is no clarity about the outcome. The Russian embassy only provided general answers to the programme’s questions, saying that the two sides had discussed «perspectives for economic cooperation».

Transport Minister Uldis Augulis says that «the first and foremost matter is the volume of cargoes sent by railway, the potential indexes, is it a political or business decision?» The claim is that there was no political influence and that everything is done in the context of business development. Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola was asked a similar question: «There were certain concerns that Gazprom had given some signal that our gas storage facility may not receive gas this winter. I did use the opportunity to ask as to whether or not that was a political position or not. The reply I was given stated that there was no political statement or statement of any kind. I was told Gazprom makes its own business decisions.»

The secret meeting between UGF’s minister and Russian Vice-Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich in August did not take place at a fish processing plant. It took place in a restaurant in the centre of Riga. Aside from the three politicians, the lunch was also attended by the Russian ambassador in Latvia Aleksandr Veshnyakov and fish processing businessmen. The main curator of this meeting – Agriculture Minister Janis Duklavs – had not told Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis and Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkevics that the government at this meeting was also being represented by Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola and Transport Minister Uldis Augulis. Officials of the two countries have had their chat. We can only guess as what kind of after taste this lunch has left.

Dvorkovich can be considered an associate of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Dvorkovich was his deputy when Medvedev was President of Russia. Even now he is Vice-Prime Minister of Russia. In addition, Dvorkovich has been the chairman of the council of directors of Russian Railway since 2015. It is nothing unusual that Dvorkovich spends his vacation in Jurmala. According to information from Russian media, Dvorkovich’s office manager Viktor Dmitriyev owns multiple real estate objects in Latvia. Nevertheless, a meeting with officials of another country at the same table in the same restaurant can hardly be called a coincidence.

Relations between Russia and Latvia remain tense. Sanctions imposed by the European Union against Russia have been extended until next year. At the same time, more and more often officials discuss the possibility of restoring exports of goods previously banned for import in Russia.

Some time before Dvorkovich’s vacation, Russian ambassador to Latvia Aleksandr Veshnyakov had offered to meet with Agriculture Minister Janis Duklavs. Apparently Duklavs decided to use the opportunity and offer Dvirkovich a taste of Latvian sprats – the same kind banned for imports in Russia. «The Agriculture Minister called by on the phone and said we had two hours, that we could not go anywhere far. We had a chance to show one or two production plants, show how we work and what technologies we use,» – Didzis Smits, head of Union of Latvian Fish Processing Industry, recalls the events of that day. He says «it was a classic viewing of production plants Karavela and Gamma A in Vecmilgravis and Mangalsala. Neither finance nor transport minister had taken part in excursions of the production plants. We had the agriculture minister, Russia’s Vice-Prime Minister and the Russian ambassador with us.»

After having a look at the machinery used by production plants, the good sirs departed for Old Riga. They were joined by Transport Minister Uldis Augulis and Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola. The biggest uncertainties surround this hour-long meal. «I had known about Duklavs’ meeting and that he’d invited someone else with him,» – says Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis. He also says Duklavs had informed the Foreign Affairs Ministry about the meeting. «It was no secret meeting,» – he said. Nevertheless, Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkevics was not told everything. Rinkevics is currently on vacation. «The foreign minister was informed of Duklavs’ plans to speak with Russia’s representative about matters related to agriculture and industrial fishing. The minister was not informed of a more large-scale meeting, however. If this meeting was attended by the Russian ambassador, which is the highest rank of this country’s representative in our country, this meeting cannot be considered completely informal,» – says Foreign Affairs Ministry’s state secretary Andrejs Pildegovics.

Ref: 102.109.109.6783


Leave a reply

Week in Lithuania. Liberal Movement to turn to court over VSD statements

The board of Lithuania's Liberal Movement has decided to turn to court over information published by the State Security Department, allegedly damaging the party's reputation.

BNN summary of the week: distorted state administration, Liepājas metalurgs recovery, and Latvia unemployment level

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Change; Growth; Business; Fight; Future; Opinion

New approach to combating drunk drivers – forced correction programme

Latvia’s Justice Ministry reports that the administrative penalties reform proposes introducing stricter punishments for drunk drivers. If a person is caught drunk driving, their license would be confiscated. On top of that, to recover the license, that person would have to pass a social correction programme.

Latvian MEP to «cause a scandal» where he can to stop school reform

Members of the European Parliament Andrejs Mamikins and Miroslavs Mitrofanovs have gathered support from 114 of their fellow MEPs to request the Latvian government and Saeima to review the already approved amendments to the Education Law and General Education Law that govern realization of the national minorities’ school reform, as confirmed by Mamikins.

Germany criticises U.S. attempts to block Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

As to the controversial Nord Stram 2 Russian gas pipeline via Baltic sea to Germany, the German Economy has evaluated that American attempts to block it could be aimed at increasing U.S. a planned Russia-Germany gas pipeline to increase its own energy exports.

Number of complaints about taxi services at Riga International Airport on a rise

The number of complaints about taxi services at Riga International Airport continues to increase, said the airport’s board chairperson Ilona Līce in an interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

Ryanair sees Estonia as important market, considers local hub option

Irish low-fare airline Ryanair considers Estonia an important market, the firm's chief executive Michael O'Leary noted while visiting Tallinn earlier in the week.

Minister: UN should act to call violators of international law to justice

«The United Nation Security Council, as the main institution maintaining peace and security, has a special responsibility, because its activities affect compliance with international law,» says Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs.

Banks to report private persons whose account turnover exceeds EUR 15,000

From 18 May onward, banks will have to report private persons whose annual account turnover exceeds EUR 15,000, as provided by the Cabinet of Ministers’ supported order, under which the State Revenue Service is to be provided with information about a private person’s turnover and balance.

Baltic States request expanding NATO’s battalion with air and naval forces

Baltic States plan to request expanding international NATO battalion with air and naval forces, as confirmed by Lithuanian Foreign Affairs Minister Lino Linkevičiaus, who met with US President’s National Security Advisor John R. Bolton in Washington alongside his Latvian and Estonian colleagues.

Poland uncovers Russian hybrid war networks

Poland has detained a Russian national suspected of working with accomplices to stimulate social tension with neighbouring Ukraine and neutralised two Russian hybrid war networks, the Polish Internal Security agency has stated.

Weather in Latvia to remain moderately warm in Latvia; precipitation to be low

On Friday, 18 May, some areas of Latvia will experience thunderstorms. However, starting from the end of the week, weather will become dry again with little precipitation. Rain cloud will form above Latvia in the second half of the week, as reported by Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Construction output rise in Latvia was more rapid than EU’s average level in Q4 2017

Compared to last year’s October-December, Latvia’s construction output in Q4 2017 grew 19.9%, which is a much more rapid rise than the average in the European Union, according to data published by Eurostat on Thursday, 17 May.

Latvian Saeima’s committee does not support Kušners’ re-approval in Bank of Latvia council

On Thursday, 17 May, Saeima’s Budget and Finance Committee decided not to recommend Edvards Kušners for a repeated term in the council of the Bank of Latvia.

Control Service Chief: wages in the service should be twice as large

Wages in the Anti-Money Laundering or Control Service should be equal to what is paid to people working in the Finance and Capital Market Commission, so twice as large as it is now, said Control Service’s Chief Ilze Znotiņa in an interview to Ir magazine.

SEB Bank’s factoring portfolio up 41% in the first quarter of 2018

In addition, similar to the volume of goods and services of Latvia’s exporting companies, which had increased unexpectedly rapidly in Q1 2018 – by 15%, there has also been a significant increase for the number of factoring deals.

Latvia experienced a rapid increase in registration of new cars in January-April period

In the first four months of 2018, Latvia has experienced a more rapid increase of newly registered cars than the average in the European Union, according to information from European Automobile Manufacturers' Association.

In Slovak Kuciak's investigation, phone of his colleague journalist confiscated

As Slovak law enforcement continues to investigate the murder of Ján Kuciak, prosecutors have confiscated the smart phone of a colleague of the investigative journalist – a move condemned by the country's media organisations.

Nurses’ wages up 50-70%, but still far from competitive

Wages of nurses of Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital have grown 50-60%. However, there is still a long way to go before they become competitive, said Stradins Hospital’s head nurse Eva Cela in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

Head of powerful Seimas committee: certain media outlets can be stripped of licenses

In a new twist of the prolonged scandal over the influence of the powerful business holding MG Baltic on Lithuania‘s politics for years through its own television channels LNK, BTV, TV1, Info TV and Liuks!, Vytautas Bakas, chairman of the powerful parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defence in a TV interview poured gasoline on the fire, proposing that certain media organisations acting against the state's interests must have their licenses revoked.

Second Rail Baltica railway line construction project announced in Latvia

Continuing the realization of activities associated with Rail Baltica project, RB Rail has announced the next procurement process, as confirmed by the company.

Tartu railway fire partly stops trains at Estonian second city

In Estonia, railway traffic to an from the city of Tartu has partly stopped and been substituted with buses after a signal box fire.

Coface: signs in business sector point towards economic decline risks

There is currently a rather optimistic situation across all business sectors and the country’s economy as a whole. However, considering the positive environment, the question for how long this period of economic growth will continue remains topical, notes international credit risk insurance company Coface manager in Baltic States Mantvīds Štareika.

Argentine prepares for Russia with advice to approach «Russian girls»

«How to stand a chance with a Russian girl» - the Argentine Football Association has been criticised for giving such advice in a manual to journalists travelling to the football World Cup in Russia.

KPV LV: Latvia has too many industry councils, which distorts state administration

Latvia has too many industry councils, which distorts state administration. The coalition council should be liquidated entirely, says KPV LV co-chairman Atis Zakatistovs.

Newest comments