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Saturday 24.03.2018 | Name days: Kazimirs, Izidors

Politologist: Sudraba’s party is dangerous

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe next Saeima elections will be a decisive challenge for western and eastern oriented parties. Inguna Sudraba’s party No sirds Latvijai is dangerous because it is a new and unknown power, believes politologist Daina Bāra.

«Looking at this massive and expansive advertisement campaign it becomes clear that they have a lot of funding. With that, if we do not know where this money comes from or who is involved with this party, we should be very careful,» – says Bāra.

The politologist reminds that every person’s vote is a valuable resource in elections. The lower the activity the larger the possibility of populists gaining advantage. This year’s European Parliament elections are a good example to that. Low activity of voters allowed Tatyana Zhdanok to be elected in the European Parliament, as reported by Nekā personīga programme of TV3.

Reading through pre-election programmes of the parties that are currently in power in Latvia, it is clear that politicians have a good understanding of the most important questions: strengthening defences, reducing energy dependence on Russia and improving residents’ level of welfare. However, looking at accomplishments of the past three years, it should be concluded that political parties have done very little over the span of the past three years. Only defence can be considered a relatively active field, as concluded by the programme.

Latvia became a member of NATO ten years ago. Since then the country promised to complete the homework like every other member state – allocate no less than 2% of GDP for military needs. Latvia still has not done this. Armed forces have not been the government’s priority all this time.

Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has finally corrected all this. NATO has increased its presence in Baltic States. Estonian President Tomass Hendrik Ilves has encouraged Latvia to finally complete its obligation before NATO. Latvian politicians approved the Law on Defence Funding this July. 2% of GDP will be allocated for Latvia’s armed forces by 2020. Next year’s increase will be only 1%.

«If we deploy missile complexes of any kind here, it will not serve as guarantee for our safety. I believe we need to think slightly differently. Our approach to this problem should not be as though we are in the 19th century. Things are different nowadays. Brute force does not solve problems,» – explains Saeima deputy Sergei Dolgopolov.

Politologists interviewed by the programme admit that Latvia is the weakest link of the three Baltic States. Politicians have reluctantly decided to increase funding for defence purposes. On a diplomatic level, however, Latvian Foreign Ministry has expressed its support to Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.

«I believe parties will act adequately. Some parties may bet on society, come forth with loud shouts, etc. But they will likely do this without any thought how such shouts will impact the country’s long-term development and security,» – says politologist Bāra.

Latvia planned to liberate its gas market this April. The country planned to separate its natural gas storage and supply operator from the Russian Gazprom. Analysts of this industry say Latvia’s gas liberalization law is behind that of Lithuania and Estonia. These two countries are making good progress in their market liberalization endeavours. Latvian politicians, on the other hand, only talk about it.

«This is a very big problem for us, especially if we look at it from a perspective of it being a tool for Russia to use to apply force on Latvia,» – comments Bāra.


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