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Sunday 19.11.2017 | Name days: Liza, Līze, Elizabete, Betija

Opinion: Lembergs is preparing for political asylum in Russia

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU‘Lembergs is an influential politician, oligarch and Kremlin’s best hope of increasing influence in Latvia. His current anti-NATO campaign is the most open attempt at probing the mood of Latvia’s society, which will then be compiled and presented by the Russian propaganda machine. It does so by also actively using Lembergs’ image,’ – as Olivers Evert described the situation in Ventspils and politicians’ reaction to it in his interview to TVNet.

He notes that ‘only when Lembergs’ popularized anti-NATO opinion in Russia started threatening Latvia with risks of overthrowing the government and when his pocket-party’s deputies were too busy running away from publicity only to avoid criticizing “the boss”, Lembergs had suddenly changed accents and publicly announced that his main problem with NATO as Latvia’s main protector is the ruined flower pots.’

TVNet mentions how ‘Lembergs seemed notably nervous’ during last Friday’s press-conference, and that he tried justifying his loyalty towards Latvia with an argument that he had, indeed, voted in favour of Latvia’s independence in 1991.

At the same time, it is also noted that Lembergs was not the only one who voted in favour of Latvia’s independence. ‘Nearly all members of the CPSU national nomenclature members did the same as the saw new opportunities for themselves in the new Latvia.’

‘Lembergs was sent to Ventspils by the order of the Latvian Communist Party Central Committee in the last few years of the Soviet Regime. This was apparently done in order to put the “right” person in the seat of the Mayor of Ventspils. It is surprising how he managed to remain in this post since the Soviet era,’ – says Everts.

He continues: ‘There is no doubt – Ventspils remains and object of Russia’s strategic interests since the Soviet era. On top of that, Ventspils is ruled by a Mayor who is loyal to Russia. It is also Mayor who uses his post to rob our country of its riches, which allowed the mood to become pro-Russian and has introduced a political power he keeps tabs on, which helps him to maintain political and economic power over Latvia.‘

Everts tells TVNet that it is entirely possible that political powers that openly express their views (organizations led by Gapoņenko, Koren, Krivcovs, Girs, Dragile) are not nearly as dangerous that those that have hid among ‘the sheep’.

These ‘sheep’ include people like Aivars Lembergs, Iveta Grigule, Nil Ushakov, Augusts Brigmanis, Raivis Dzintars, Romans Naudins, Baiba Broka and others ‘who loudly say NATO is good because it protects us from the outside world’. However, their actions show let people question just what kind of people they are.

‘Openly pro-Russian organization will never gain a lot of support from society. Those who employ examples of Putin’s ideology in additions to economic, social, national or other kinds of promises and public statements, however, will gain a lot of support and recognition in their endeavours. Current political players that seem like the type include Harmony Centre, Union of Greens and Farmers, For Latvia and Ventspils, Šlesers’ party and the National Alliance. Their ideologies are very close to that of Putin.’

According to Everts, in spite of Lembergs attempts to put his people in important political posts (people like President Andris Berzins), he remains in danger of a six-year-long criminal process, and its possible outcome is hard to predict.

Everts believes ‘Lembergs hopes President Berzins will provide him with amnesty the same way Czech President Vaclav Klaus did for thousands of convicts and criminally accused persons, including those accused of economic crimes.’

‘It is likely, however, that President Berzins will sacrifice Lembergs to a fate similar to that of his Italian counterpart – Berlusconi. The latter was accused and later found guilty of committing economic crimes. He is busy serving his time washing and wiping the bottoms of incurable patients in a care centre in the outskirts of Milan,’ – as Everts comments further.

Everts also allows for the possibility that in his attempts to avoid such a fate, Lembergs will try to ‘play the role of Russia’s friend as best he can in order to expect political asylum in Russia’. He concludes his thoughts by saying that ‘there are many wolves hiding among white sheep in Latvia. However, the military and economic confrontation between the West and Russia will force all of them to show their true colours.’

‘When should we start the hunting season? How about this Saturday? We could start with electing a European Parliament with no wolves in it.’


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  1. mike walsh says:

    No position of public service should be accessible to anyone holding dual nation loyalties. Unfortunately, one has to contend with what George Orwell described as ‘a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this or that or the other, but it is ‘not done.’

    It is not anti-Latvian or anti-anything else to believe that Baltic States security is jeopardised – not strengthened by a NATO presence. That is an opinion, not a statement of any particular nationhood loyalty. Best not to confuse or abuse either.

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  2. Riga says:

    It is true that certainly he is entitled to his views (as for matter is Olivers Everts).

    The problem is the fact that he remains incredibly powerful in Latvia despite all the outstanding court cases against him, due to his corruption and bribery of members of Saeima.

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