bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Saturday 07.03.2015 | Name days: Ella, Elmīra

Opinion: unfathomable how UGF could nominate Lembergs as its Prime Minister candidate

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+1 of 1)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU‘An experienced Latvian politician and mayor of a large city speaks of our choice to join the European Union and NATO as though one of Kremlin’s ideologists, outcompeting even Putin’s partner party Harmony Centre’s politicians in his statements,’ – said MEP and Chairman of For Fatherland and Freedom/ LNNK party Roberts Zīle in his interview to BNN in regard to Aivars Lembergs recent statements about NATO’s role in the defence of the Baltic region.

‘I have been working in politics for 25 years. I believe Latvia’s admission into NATO and EU are also a result of my work. So I feel rather disappointed to hear such things,’ – as the politician expresses his disappointment about the recent statements of the Ventspils politician.

BNN had previously reported that Aivars Lembergs’ friendly attitude towards Russia, including his announcement that the only ones who would benefit from the deployment of NATO troops in Latvia would be the prostitutes, has been noted by Russian media.

With that Lembergs managed to ‘express his views’ on Russian television.

According to what Lembergs told the Russian channel, some American soldier could launch a rocket towards Moscow, and this can be done without Latvian government knowing about it, because Americans are the ones order around NATO. As a result, the counter-strike may fall on Latvia. ‘We all know how Americans behaved in Japan, Iraq, Vietnam and many other corners of the world. Latvia has a treaty with USA that states that American soldiers are to be stand trial in USA for any offences they perform in Latvia. This is why I believe it is very dangerous to have foreign military forces present in Latvia,’ – says Lembergs.

It is not the only criticism Lembergs mentions in his interview to Russian media in regard to NATO: ‘Who occupied Gibraltar? NATO member state UK. Who occupied Cyprus? NATO member state Turkey. With that, looking at Europe’s practice in this, NATO member states present the highest threat level.’

Lembergs words have caused concerned talks in Latvia. Deputies of the ruling coalition in Latvia are also baffled by his opinion. They await explanations from the Union of Greens and Farmers as to the thoughts behind their decision to nominate this person as the party’s Prime Minister candidate numerous times.

‘It is unfathomable how the Union of Greens and Farmers could propose a person with such views as a possible candidate for the post of Prime Minister of Latvia. We can only imagine Latvia’s fate if he had become Prime Minister at some point,’ – says Zīle.

He believes UGF should decide whether they, as the political party responsible for Defence Ministry and Latvia’s ties to NATO, represent Latvia as a country tied to Western values or a country turned towards Kremlin’s Eurasian Union ideology.

‘These two political vectors cannot meet. This is why we expect this political party to provide a clear opinion and make a political choice – either such statements are acceptable for them or they are not. If UGF remains silent, then there is a high probability that this party may form a coalition with Harmony Centre or any other pro-Kremlin party that may end up in the Saeima after the elections. This scenario is very dangerous, because it may lead to Latvia’s exit from NATO and notable increase of Russia’s influence,‘ – believes Zīle.

Both Zīle and Reform Party’s deputy Sandra Sondore-Kukule believe Lembergs’ statements are completely unacceptable.

Sondore-Kukule notes that UGF should present a clear position on actions of its partners.

‘I was more surprised not by the absurdity of Mr Lembergs’ words, but by the fact that he seems to actually believe in what he says,’ – said the deputy.

She adds unlike many other countries in the world, there is freedom of speech in Latvia. And the freedom of speech is among the values defended by NATO and European Union. ‘I hope Mr Lembergs can appreciate that.’

Unity’s representative, member of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Inese Vaidere told BNN in an interview that Lembergs’ statements came as surprising and equally absurd to her.

‘NATO is the only guarantee of Latvia’s security at the moment. Mr Lembergs might not have noticed what is currently going on in Ukraine and what happened in Moldova and Georgia after Russia’s attempts to create the Eurasian Union or even restore the Soviet Union, hoping to include these countries in it,’ – said Vaidere. At the same time, the MEP said Lembergs does not have the kind of influence to pose an actual threat to Latvia’s security.

Lembergs’ loyalty towards Russia was demonstrated by him several times. He had mentioned once: ‘I know only Russian language. I often tell my son: if you want to do business, you don’t have to know any foreign languages, but you absolutely must know Russian language.’ During the recent event in Ukraine, Lembergs had said it a number of times that Latvia should keep quiet and not try to ‘teach Russia how to live’. One of his latest comments implied the introduction of NATO forces in Latvia would mean a military occupation, similar to the one Latvia suffered in 1940.

Public figures express deep concern over the fact that Kremlin’s main television channel shows how the most popular politician of the Union of Greens and Farmers – Lembergs – openly says NATO is a threat to Europe and Russia. They add that Lembergs’ party For Latvia and Ventspils should be expelled from UGF.

Lembergs’ opinion has not gone unnoticed in Latvia. Social networks are filled with a furious storm over this kind of opinion. High-rank Latvian officials express their thoughts on this as well. Former Latvian Defence Minister Artis Pabriks condemned Lembergs’ statements on his Twitter page; rhetorically asking if anyone in Ventspils would like to follow the example set up by Donetsk – request independence and join Russia.

Latvia’s current Defence Minister Raimonds Vejonis distances himself from the matter, referencing his previous decision not to dwell on such statements. In spite of this, he continues to receive angry comments from society. According to the people, such a position of a minister sounds more like ‘I don’t care’ or ‘leave me alone’.

Ref: 102/103.109.109.2843


Leave a reply

  1. mike walsh says:

    “She adds unlike many other countries in the world, there is freedom of speech in Latvia. And the freedom of speech is among the values defended by NATO and European Union. ‘I hope Mr Lembergs can appreciate that.’… the irony is that she is indignant and critical of his free speech.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Ilmars says:

    The solution is simple. Kick all the UFG Ministers out of the current government, and dont vote for them at the coming election.
    A vote for the Union of Farmers and Greens (UFG) is a vote for Putin.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

EU extend sanctions against ex-President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich

This Friday, March 6th, the European Union decided to extend sanctions to ex-President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich and 14 other officials, who are believed to have misappropriated state funds. Sanctions have been extended for an additional twelve months.

African swine fever reaches Limbazi

Five dead wild boars have been found in a forest in Umurga County of Limbazi. Laboratory analysis has confirmed the presence of African swine fever in the located carcasses.

Ministry calls to expand restrictions for pre-election campaign

Latvian Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry has prepared amendments to the Pre-election Campaign Law in order to set new restrictions on pre-election advertisements.

Industrial production volume down by 3.5% in Latvia

Industrial production volume had declined by 3.1% in January 2015, compared to December 2014. It was affected by a decrease of 18.4% in electricity and gas supply.

Banking sector has earned EUR 32.5 million at the beginning of 2015

This January, Latvia’s banking sector functioned with profits worth EUR 32.5 million. 14 Latvian banks and five foreign bank branches whose total share in the country’s banking sector is 88.9% functioned with profits.

Association: public pressure forces famous American circus to stop using elephants

One of the most famous circuses in USA has decided to gradually drop the use of elephants in its performances. This decision came in response to public pressure exacted on the circus over the poor welfare level of these animals in the circus, as noted by Animal Freedom.

Ulmanis: we stand before many different problems

Latvian politicians have to keep looking for opportunities to hold a dialogue with Russia in order to resolve the crisis, believes ex-president of Latvia Guntis Ulmanis.

Can Lithuania hold upright for three days? Even with conscripts

The Lithuanian Parliament has voted for the reintroduction of conscripts army, but the fears that it will be too weak and little to stave off aggression loom wide.

Kalniete: there are no guarantees the coalition will reach an agreement on presidential candidate

There are no guarantees that parties of the ruling coalition will manage to reach an agreement in regard to the next presidential candidate, and this is something Unity understands well, said MEP Santra Kalniete in her interview to Rīta panorama programme of LTV.

Ukrainian pilot in Moscow stops hunger strike after 83 days

Ukrainian air force pilot Nadia Savchenko, who is awaiting trial in Moscow, has said she has stopped her hunger strike after 83 days.

Passenger caught for attempted bribing of police in Zemgale

Over the course of the first three months, 25 drivers have been caught by the police in Zemgale for attempted bribing.

Ushakov: Harmony may play a decisive role in presidential elections

Harmony’s role in presidential election could turn out decisive. Because we realize the weight of responsibility, selection of the next President of Latvia will play a major role in how Latvia will develop in the near future, notes Mayor of Riga Nil Ushakov.

Meteorologists: Sunday will be unusually warm

Weather conditions will likely change this Friday, March 6th, as a mass of warm air will enter Latvia from the west, which will bring along with it a substantial cloud and precipitation zone.

ECB forecasts faster economic growth for eurozone

The European Central Bank on Thursday, March 5, changed its eurozone growth forecast for the year 2015, raising it from 1% to 1,5%.

Aboltina doubts Kalniete would gain much support from the coalition

Unity leader Solvita Aboltina doubts that MEP Sandra Kalniete would gain the majority of votes from the ruling coalition as presidential candidate.

Additional funding allocated for Ukrainian schoolchildren in Lithuania

The government of Lithuania, on Wednesday, March 4, allocated 80 thousand euros for Ukrainian schoolchildren that are taking their classes in Lithuania.

Coalition: political allegiance will not be the main criterion when selecting the president

Whether or not a candidate belongs to a certain party or not will not be the main criterion in the selection of the next President of Latvia, as noted by leaders of the ruling Saeima coalition.

Increase in retail sales strengthens eurozone economy

January has been the fourth month in a row when growth in retail sales has been registered in eurozone as a whole, indicating a positive turn in the recently slow economic growth of the single currency bloc.

Latvian doctors prepare for protests

Latvian Health and Social Care Workers Union has begun preparing for a protest campaign in order to defend residents’ rights for accessible and high-quality healthcare services. It is possible that this protest will be held April 20th, during an informal meeting of EU Healthcare Ministers in Riga.

Donations to parties equal to minimum wages to be set as eligible expenditure

This Thursday, March 5th, the Saeima conceptually approved amendments to the Personal Income Tax Law. In accordance with these amendments, donations or gifts to political parties that are not larger than the official minimum wage in the country are not to be applied with PIT.

NA politician Vilks is replaced by Jansons in the Saeima

This Thursday, March 5th, the Saeima approved a temporary deputy mandate for Ritvars Jansons. Prior to the Saeima vote, Jansons gave his solemn vow and confirmed it with his signature.

Euro value drops to 11-year low

With currency markets expecting news on the details of European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme, value of the euro against the U.S. dollar has decreased to the lowest level in 11 years.

Reform Party in Estonia pushes for broad coalition

Reform Party, which won the March 1 Estonian parliamentary election, has announced it prefers building a broad coalition that would have a strong mandate.

Harmony wants to collect EUR 1,000 moral compensation from Straujuma

Harmony has turned to court against Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma for her statement about the party during the last Saeima elections. The party wants to collect EUR 1,000 from her as moral compensation.

Saeima to decide on amendments to the Law on Circulation of Alcoholic Drinks

This Thursday, March 5th, the Saeima will review amendments to the Civil Law and related laws. The amendments to be reviewed provide for a solution to the shared property problem, as well as the adoption of so-called building rights.

Newest comments