bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Saturday 24.06.2017 | Name days: Jānis
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

Real estate purchase «pain threshold» in Latvia – EUR 100,000

In relation to the possibility of purchasing a new home, Latvian residents view EUR 100,000 as the «pain threshold». The critical border for new project apartments is 1,300 EUR/m2. For standard apartments it is 1,000 EUR/m2. For private homes it is 1,600 EUR/m2, according to results of a study by PrivatBank.

Lembergs & Co. gathered to discuss «problems» of the high and mighty

Political businessman Ainars Slesers held a friendly discussion with his associates – Aivars Lembergs, Andris Ameriks, Janis Urbanovics, Janis Duklavs and Valerijs Kargins – at Ridzene Hotel. The group discussed toppling Valdis Dombrovskis’ government, replacement of multiple high-ranking officials and the possible sale of pieces of land within Riga Freeport’s territory, according to transcripts from the conversation published by Ir magazine and provided by anonymous sources.

Lithuania set to limit cash payments to 3,000 euros

The Farmers and Peasants-led Lithuanian Cabinet has approved a draft bill envisioning restrictions on use of cash, limiting the kind of settlements up to 3,000 euro.

Saeima establishes indexation increase for pensioners with high seniority

On Thursday, 22 June, Latvia’s Saeima approved Social and Employment Matters Committee’s prepared amendments to the Pension Law in two readings, ensuring greater pension indexation for multiple pensioner groups next year.

Romanian Parliament ousts Grindeanu government

The Romanian government of Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu has not survived a no-confidence vote and has fallen after less than six months in power.

Rail Baltica agreement will allow trains to travel at 240 km/h

Saeima of the Republic of Latvia will soon ratify Rail Baltica agreement, which is expected to allow passenger trains to travel at a speed of 240 km/h instead of 120 km/h. Higher travel speed will also ensure cargoes from Tallinn reach Poland within two days.

Mamikins: Latvia is becoming a landfill for rich European countries

A very large fire took place at an illegal landfill in Jurmala this week. According to information from the State Environmental Protection service, the fire had engulfed 23 tonnes of waste, mainly plastic waste, says Latvian MEP Andrejs Mamikins.

Latvian businessmen use e-commerce opportunities for business development

With e-commerce volumes growing around the world, Latvian businessmen use it more and more often for business development, including exports of goods and services. As noted by DPD, the number of packages sent to foreign countries grew 22% last year.

Latvia wishes to change its state president’s election process

Reviewing proposals to change the state president’s election process, Saeima’s Legal Affairs Committee decided to submit proposals developed by the work group to different Saeima factions for review, as BNN was informed by Saeima’s press-service.

Coalition parties close to making final decision with tax reform; no more obstacles

Coalition parties no longer have any more differences of opinions in regards to tax reform principles. Parties are close to making the final decision, said Economy Minister Arvils Aseradens after the meeting with Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola.

Saeima plans to introduce personalized voter cards

For next year’s Saeima elections, voters who only have an ID card and no valid passport are planned to be provided with personalized voter cards.

Producer price level in industry up 0.4% in Latvia

Compared to April, the level of producer prices in Latvian industry grew by 0.4 % in May 2017. The prices of products sold on the domestic market increased by 0.3 %, whereas the prices of exported products grew by 0.5 %. The prices of products exported to euro area countries grew by 0.8 % and of products exported to non-euro area countries – by 0.4 %.

Opinion: local media in Daugavpils are corrupt

«Now that we constantly face new and more elaborate security risks, concerns tend to increase about the fight for people’s minds in the information space. This is why the bar for professional journalists should be held high. Baltic Centre for Media Excellence plays an important role in all this,» said chairman of Saeima’s Foreign Affairs Committee Ojars Eriks Kalnins after the meeting.

Life in Riga remains more expensive than life in Vilnius and Tallinn

Riga is recognized as 126th most expensive city in the world. Life in the Latvian capital is considerably more expensive than it is in Vilnius or Tallinn, according to a study published by *Mercer Human Resource Consulting.

Most universities in Estonia to cut number of new students this year

Three of the four universities working in Estonia have expressed plans to bring down the number of admissions in the coming academic year.

Foreign investors do not support amendments proposed for Financial Instruments Market

The Foreign Investors Council in Latvia does not support proposals for protection of rights of minority shareholders, which are include and proposed in amendments to the Law on the Financial Instruments Market.

Ligo celebration causes condom sales to go up in Latvia

Nearly 39% Latvian residents plan to spend around 21 to 40 euros on Ligo, according to results of a survey performed by Maxima. 22% of respondents plan to spend around 20 euros on the celebration. 22% of residents plan to spend 41 to 60 euros, and 17% - more than 61 euros.

Latvian government asked to compensate profits lost from rejecting Nord Stream 2

Considering the stance of the Latvian Republic in relation to Nord Stream 2 project, in which the Cabinet of Ministers decided not to permit the participation of Ventspils Freeport, Noord Natie Ventspils Terminal and Baltic Express have decided to ask the government to compensate lost profits. An official request has been submitted to the prime ministers.

Hospital: countryside residents with no easy access to a urologist are at risk

For the third consecutive year urologists from Riga Eastern Clinical University Hospital’s travel to Latvia’s far-away regions to provide men there with free health check-ups and consultations. This year urologists decided to visit Dobele, Cesis, Rezekne and Jekabpils.

Stoltenberg visits Iron Wolf exercises in Lithuania

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has visited Lithuania on Tuesday, June 20, to see international military drill Iron Wolf 2017 and has noted that the involved countries are protecting each other.

German Chancellor could support introducing eurozone budget for sensible purposes

Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, has stated that she could support the introduction of a separate eurozone budget and a position of an eurozone finance minister, in case of right circumstances and sensible aims.

Prosecutor decides to end criminal case against former KNAB officer Juris Jurass

In spite of the decision by Security Police to present charges, the prosecutor responsible for the case has decided to end the criminal process commenced against the now former official of Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau Juris Jurass for intentional disclosure of official secrets.

Latvia wants to introduce electronic working time tracking in construction

Saeima’s Budget and Finance Commission has expressed unanimous conceptual support for amendments to the Law on Taxes and Duties. These amendments provide for the introduction of electronic working time tracking system in construction, as BNN was informed by Saeima’s press-service.

Alleged bomber shot in Brussels central station

In the central station of Brussels, Belgium, soldiers have shot a man suspected he was to detonate explosives, local authorities have stated. The man was shot and later died after reportedly setting off a small explosion on Tuesday, June 20, and no-one else is believed to have been injured.

Expert: pension capital grows, but the Latvia still has a ways to go

«Latvia’s pension system has been named one of the best in the world multiple times. Pension capital in it has grown rapidly over the years. The volume of savings gathered on the 2nd level pension system by the end of Q1 2017 came close to EUR 3 billion. The volume saved on the 3rd level pension system was close to EUR 4 billion,» explains Nordea Pensions Latvia board member Ilja Arefjevs.

Newest comments