bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Tuesday 24.05.2016 | Name days: Marlēna, Ilvija, Ziedone

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

15,000 Lithuanians call for ban on electricity from Belarus’ nuclear plant

In Lithuania more than 15,000 people have signed a petition for a law that would ban buying energy from the Astravyets nuclear plant being built near the Belarus border with Lithuania.

Poland hopes Latvia’s records will help investigates the Smolensk plane crash

Records of Latvian authorities and satellite images provided by NASA could help Poland investigate the 2010 Smolensk plane crash, in which Polish President Lech Kaczynski and a number of Polish high-rank officials were killed, as reported by Polish Radio.

Eurozone’s growth recovers; perspectives are good in Baltic States as well

Although global economic growth is expected to experience symptoms of anaemia, Eurozone’s GDP growth rate could reach 1.7% in 2016 and 1.8% in 2017. Perspectives for Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are relatively good – growth will be dictated by private consumption and wage rise.

EUR 74.11 million to be allocated to improve infrastructure of large ports

In order to help develop the mobility of Europe’s transport network and shipping safety in Latvia’s large ports, the European Cohesion Fund will allocate EUR 74.11 million as part of the 2014-2020 planning period. This is provided by Latvian Transport ministry’s developed draft that was approved by the government on 24 May.

The number of tourists from EU countries keeps increasing in Latvia

In Q1 2016 more than 366.0 thousand visitors stayed in Latvian accommodation establishments, which is 1.6 % more than in the corresponding period of the previous year. As compared to Q1 2015, the number of foreign visitors grew by 2.5 %, and the number of nights spent increased by 7.6 %.

SA: Riga Freeport’s self-righteousness costs hundreds of thousands of euros

Since 2009, when the Competition Council first made its decision on breaches of competition rules – abuse of dominant position in organization of work of tugs within territories of Riga Freeport – expenditures of the port’s administration have exceeded EUR 1 million.

Rõivas: NATO decisions in Warsaw should be permanent steps

Addressing a public discussion in Tallinn on Estonia’s hopes for NATO summit in Warsaw, Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas has evaluated that it will be the most successful summit for the country since it was invited to join the military alliance in 2002.

Pabriks: the new leader should clean up Unity’s closet

Unity’s strength only remains in its name, not its core. Internal disputes and fractured state have created a crisis for the party’s political identity that threatens the party’s very existence, believes MEP Artis Pabriks.

Music streaming services offer family packages

In response to the pricing policy of music streaming service Apple Music, its Swedish rival Spotify has also launched a family pricing seeking to attract a new user base just before the holiday season.

Aboltina doesn’t try to deny news about her political meeting with Lembergs in Dubai

Current chairperson of the board of Unity and head of Latvian Saeima’s National Security Committee Solvita Aboltina only denies information about her allegedly drinking wine with Aivars Lembergs in Dubai. She does not deny the fact of meeting with the criminally accused politician in such an exotic part of the world.

PA: there are risks of losing part of the money invested in KVV Liepājas metalurgs

Privatization Agency has received the restructuring plan from the owners of KVV Liepājas metalurgs. The plan is unacceptable, however, because it includes a request for state support, which also has to be approved by the European Commission, as reported by the agency’s manager Vladimir Loginov.

Greece starts dismantling Idomeni migrant camp

Greek authorities on May 24 began dismantling the country’s largest irregular migrant camp of Idomeni, near border with Macedonia.

Minister: it’s in Europe’s interest to support security of its Eastern neighbours

«Enhancement of the European Union and its member states’ security should be made the most important strategy in foreign and security policy. More political attention and more resources should be allocated to Europe’s security. It is also important to improve the capabilities of the European Union and NATO to prevent hybrid war threats,» – believes Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkevics.

Three minors arrested for stealing private data of more than 1,000 draugiem.lv users

Latvian State Police Economic Crimes Prevention Department received information in February regarding potentially illegal actions with draugiem.lv social network users’ personal data. During the investigation, ENAP officers in cooperation with CERT.LV IT identified the individuals who had illegally acquired portal users’ virtual identities.

Austrian presidential election ends with unity call

In Austrian presidential election held on May 22, independent candidate Alexander Van der Bellen has narrowly won right-wing eurosceptic Norbert Hofer.

Ryanair announces 7% fall in fare prices

Ryanair has stated it would reduce its fare prices by an average of 7% in 2016, as the Irish airline seeks to increase its market share and increase competition in the European market.

Latvia will experience summer-like weather this week

High atmospheric pressure will dictate weather in Latvia this week. With that, air temperature will largely range within +21° C…+26° C on Monday, 23 May. It will be slightly colder along the coast.

Feierābends and Plētiens are released from detention

On Monday, 23 May, Riga City Northern District Court released Arvils Feierābends, who is a suspect in a bribery case of SP Public Order Police, from detention in the courtroom.

Producer price level in industry declines 3.1% in Latvia

Compared to March, the level of producer prices in the Latvian industry decreased by 0.1 % in April 2016. The level of prices of both – products sold on the domestic market, as well as of exported products decreased by 0.1 %.

Zatlers sees no reason to change Latvia’s naturalization rules

Latvia has very well-ordered laws and sufficiently simple naturalization process for non-citizens at the moment. There is no reason to change anything, believes ex-President of Latvia Valdis Zatlers.

Ministers to look for solutions to improve PUC’s budget situation

On Monday, 23 May, the Cabinet of Ministers did not support Economy Ministry’s guideline project that provides an increase of state fees for regulation of public utilities. Ministers will look for solutions to increase the Public Utilities Commission in the near future.

Immigration to Estonia exceeds emigration for first time since renewed independence

During 2015, 13 003 people emigrated from Estonia, while 15 413 imigrated to the Baltic country, Statistics Estonia has estimated and found that for the first time since the restoration of the independence of Estonia more people have arrived in the country than the people, who have left.

Baltic residents choose their most favourite brands

Swedbank, Laima and Apple remain the most popular brands in Latvia for the second consecutive year. The TOP 10 also include LMT, Facebook, Maxima, Samsung, Google, Bite and Rimi.

Latvijas Dzelzceļš buys plant the business of which has not been successful in the past

The head of Latvijas Dzelzceļš has received the government’s approval to expand its business presence. LDz’s subsidiary LDz Rolling Stock Service plans to become the sole owner of Rīgas vagonbūves uzņēmums Baltija and commence manufacture of freight wagons in Daugavpils.

Calendar of cultural events in Lithuania. Folkfest «Skamba Skamba Kankliai»

BNN offers you a selection of cultural events in Lithuania for the week during May 23 to May 29.