bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Ceturtdiena 29.09.2016 | Name days: Mihails, Miķelis, Mikus, Miks, Miģelis

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

Swiss engineering firm ABB expands in Estonia

Swiss engineering system manufacturer ABB group will launch its new regional business service centre in Tallinn in October.

EUR 15,017 donated for infertility treatment programme in Latvia

To help finance infertility treatment programme, charity campaign organized by Butterfly Effect association in cooperation with Elvi and EGV Clinic has raised EUR 15,017 since the beginning of 2016.

Study: counterfeit medicine causes major losses for EU

Because of counterfeit medicine, the legal medical industry in Europe loses EUR 10 billion every year, which accounts for 4.4% of the entire trade volume of the pharmacy sector, as concluded in the latest European Union Intellectual Property Office study about counterfeit medicine and its effect on economies of EU member states.

«Death» shows support to UGF’s work in government during doctors’ protest

The protest act organized by Latvian Health and Social Care Workers Union near the Saeima gathered 300 to 350 people.

U.S. warns Russia about bombing of besieged Syrian city

The U.S. has warned Russia that Washington would stop cooperation with Moscow in Syria if Moscow would not stop the bombardment of besieged Aleppo.

Latvia supports Kristalina Georgieva as candidate for UN Secretary General post

Latvia supports EC Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva as a candidate for the post of UN Secretary General, as confirmed by Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkevics.

Aseradens: decline of electricity prices expected in Latvia

If reforms are successfully realized in the electrical energy market, Latvia may experience a decline in electricity prices, as announced by Economy Minister Arvils Aseradens.

MH17 investigators: Missile came from Russia, was shot from rebel-held territory

The Dutch-led international team of prosecutors stated on September 28 that it has found that the missile with which passenger plane on flight MH17 was downed in 2014 over eastern Ukraine was shot from territory held by pro-Kremlin separatists.

Politicians forget about transit industry as a source of income for state budget

Politicians and the public regularly discuss the lack of budget funds to afford improvements for healthcare, education, law enforcement. New taxes and new ways of adding money to the state chancellery are sought left and right. They forget that transit has always been a stable source of income for Latvia, Vesti Segodnya writes.

Study: most girls and half of boys in Riga do not tie their future to exact sciences

73.5% of girls and 49.1% of boys in Riga do not see their future associated with exact sciences, according to results of Jaunieši IT study carried out in Riga’s schools.

Businessmen: faster adoption of e-procurements system would benefit competition

To ensure more transparent procurements, businessmen urge government to introduce an electronic procurement system as soon as possible. This system is expected to ensure honest competition and help resolve other problems that are often present in state and municipal procurements.

President: KNAB supervisory institutions should explain the loss of classified documents

Institutions that supervise the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau have to determine the cause behind the loss of classified documents, as announced by Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis.

Data on students and graduates to be compiled for more effective budget planning

To help develop the State Education Information System, it is planned to expand one of its sections by creating a register for students and graduates. This is provided by amendments to the Law on Institutions of Higher Education supported by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Global trade growth slowing, WTO

The World Trade Organisation has this week released an altered forecast for the global trade growth for 2016, which, comparing to its previous forecast for the same period has been cut by over a third.

Latvia resettles 82 people as part of EU refugee programme

Today, 28 September, nine people were transported to Latvia from Greece as part of the European Union’s resettlement programme, as LETA was informed by the Office for Citizenship and Migration Affairs.

August’s construction costs declined by 0.4% in Latvia

Compared to July, the level of construction costs in Latvia dropped by 0.4% in August 2016. Prices of building materials decreased by 0.8%, maintenance and operational costs of machinery and equipment reduced by 0.1%, whereas labour remuneration of workers did not witness any significant changes.

One-third of state institutions to not have to report data on employees’ remuneration

On Tuesday, 27 September, the Latvian government accepted amendments to the Law on Remuneration of Officials and Employees of State and Self-government Authorities that relieve 233 state institutions from the duty to report information about remuneration of their employees.

Trial of two Russian 'observers' arrested at Adazi military base put off until 2017

On 27 September, Riga District Court decided to put off the viewing of the criminal case regarding the incident at Adazi military base involving two Russian citizens until 24 July 2017.

Valka expects even more alcohol buyers from Estonia next year

Because Estonia plans to raise excise tax for alcohol in January 2017, the number of alcohol buyers from the neighbouring country is expected to increase in Latvia’s border area stores, as predicted by Mayor of Valka Vents Armands Krauklis.

Study: Third of adults look into their phones at night

A study performed in the UK on addiction to smartphones found that a third of its adult population look into their devices at night, which often causes quarrels with their other halves.

Baltics and Iceland agree on strengthening mutual cooperation

Celebrating 25 years since the foundation of diplomatic relations between Iceland and Baltics, Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkevics visited Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik on 26 September to discuss regional news and international relations with ministers from Iceland, Estonia and Lithuania.

Rimsevics: Latvia should prepare for future crises

Latvia should prepare for future crises, which will take place, said Governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmars Rimsevics in his interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

Expert: average tourist in Latvia – German citizen of pension age

27 September is celebrated around the world as Tourism Day. This day marks the end of the tourism season in the northern latitudes and the beginning of the season for southern latitudes. For this event, Tourism Research Centre’s manager Eriks Lingeberzins explains the topical tourism trends and what has changed under influence of terrorism.

Former head of IMF tried for alleged credit card racket

The former head of the International Monetary Fund, Rodrigo Rato has stood before trial in Spain on September 26 over allegations that he and 64 other bankers have been involved in credit card racket at Bankia bank, which has been rescued at public expense.

Strong sides of Latvia’s start-up sector – financial and virtual technologies

Latvia’s start-up sector has attracted investments worth at least EUR 110 million, notes Chairperson of Latvian Start-up Association Yekaterina Novicka.