Ex president Vaira Vike-Freiberga, CEO of the Riga Free Port Leonids Loginovs, ex prime minister Einars Repse, Transport Minister Aivis Ronis, Ventspils transit business millionaires Olafs Berkis and Igors Skoks, telecommunications business millionaire Peteris Smidre – such a variegated and contradictory public visited the dinner organized by banker Valerijs Belokons.
Among the guests there were also Repse’s advisor Dans Titavs, ex minister and former chief editor of the newspaper Diena Sarmite Elerte, television company’s LNT chief Andrejs Ekis, chief editor of the newspaper Latvijas Avize, and Riga city Mayor and leader of the party Harmony Centre Nils Usakovs, the portal Pietiek.com reported.
The dinner took place in the Belokons’ more than three millions worth mansion near Riga in the middle of Babite Lake and Lielupe River; frequency – about once in a month, usually weekday evenings in the circle of eight to ten exquisite guests. Good wines and dishes made by the celebrity cook Martins Ritins were served to guests. None of the said persons inquired by the portal didn’t confirm this tradition still exists. Several of them rejected any official comments and emphasized they didn’t want to spoil relationship with Belokons. Some of the dinner participants became nervous when heard the portal’s question.
Both official and unofficial comments deny this dinner would have had any political context. Several participants of the dinner had a feeling that Belokons simply «collected people», possibly, with the purpose to reinforce his influence creating an impression he knew influential people of various spheres. At the same time, as one of the participants noted, some guests used this dinner for business negotiations which happened in a private atmosphere, not at the table.
Ex president Vaira Vike-Freiberga provided no comments to the portal’s questions about her participation in the dinner which were sent her in late March. As it is known, Belokons recently funded the issue of at least two books written by Vaira Vike-Freiberga – essay collection Kultūra un latvietība and volume 4 of Saules dainas: Trejādas saules. Meteoroloģisā saule. Gaišā saule.
BNN already reported that founder of the New Era Party Einars Repse and his companions Dans Titavs and Edgars Jaunups have founded association For Latvia’s Development. The association involves businessmen who until this were considered financial and ideological supporters of Unity. Some of them are: banker Valerijs Belokons, owner of the forestry company Pata AB Uldis Mierkalns, owner of the biofuel manufacturer Jaunpagasts Plus Donats Vaitaitis, and Ventspils transit business millionaire Olafs Berkis.