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Saturday 19.08.2017 | Name days: Melānija, Imanta

Ventspils opposition: Lembergs’ illegal activities must be stopped immediately

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU‘The state must immediately make sure that the criminally accused official Aivars Lembergs is prohibited to take posts ties to state, municipal and commercial institutions until the court has voiced its ruling,’ – says deputy of Ventspils City Council Opposition Aivis Landmanis.

This Monday, May 19th, government partners noted they are satisfied with the position of the Union of Greens and Farmers in regard to the role NATO plays in Latvia. Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma has confirmed that UGF’s position on this matter allows putting all misunderstandings regarding Aivars Lembergs’ more recent statements about NATO and the party’s ties with this person to rest.

Chairman of Green party (part of UGF) Edgars Tavars notes that UGF will remain with its belief that NATO is Latvia’s main security measure. Coalition partners were informed of this position this Monday.

In his statement to the media, Landmanis mentions that Ventspils’ official rhetoric (newspaper, television, official portals) about NATO remains negative. He is genuinely surprised by ‘such a careless approach from responsible state officials’. This is why the politician sent Saeima Chairwoman, Prime Minister and ministers a letter in which he suggested them to decide on limiting Lembergs’ illegal activities. Officials were also asked to explain what the phrase ‘absence’ means in the context of the Law on Municipalities, and whether or not ‘absence’ can be applied in a situation with Lembergs. ‘I have also turned to EPRDM official with a request to request the dismissal of Aivars Lembergs from the post of Chairman of Ventspils City Council based on Section 65 of the Law on Municipalities or launch the dismissal procedure in accordance with Section 93 of this law,’ – said Landmanis.

He explains his decision for turning to state officials with ‘Lembergs’ illegal activities, including his decision to send a letter to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on behalf of Ventspils City Council and thereby breach the laws of the Republic of Latvia, regulations and rulings of higher institutions and courts.’

‘I believe the whole story with Lembergs’ letter to NATO Secretary General is the consequence of the previously unsolved lawlessness. Responsibility for this should be taken up by all political parties that have had an effect on the policy of the Republic of Latvia from 2007 onward. Specifically starting with 2007 because this was the year when Lembergs was presented with legal restrictions and criminal accusations. Since 2005, myself and my colleagues have turned to EPRDM and other state institutions with proof about Ventspils City Council’s ruling party’s and Aivars Lembergs’ illegal activities. Unfortunately, neither the Saeima nor previous governments have been able to restrain Aivars Lembergs. Because of this inability, deputies of other municipal parties are being discriminated. The same can be said about voters. Millions of Ventsils municipality and Ventspils Freeport budget are continuously used to finance Lembergs’ personal interests every year. Latvia’s transit industry is under heavy influence by a criminally accused official. This fact scares away investors and makes life for local businessmen very complicated. The more recent events involving NATO put Latvia’s reputation in the line of fire. In their attempts to save Lembergs, politicians have miss-stepped so hard that further management over Ventspils City Council and Ventspils Freeport is made to look like one big farce,’ – says Landmanis.

‘Lately, many politicians have been expressing a great degree of concern over possible risks to Latvia’s security, territorial integrity and sovereignty. I am certain that future decisions made by Latvian politicians in regard to criminally accused Aivars Lembergs will demonstrate who exactly cares more about Latvia,’ – adds the politician.

BNN had previously reported that the ruling coalition has distanced itself from Lembergs and his opinion about NATO soldiers. The coalition had previously requested the Union of Greens and Farmers to explain clearly where it stands in this. Shortly after Lembergs ‘spoke his mind’, Defence Minister Raimonds Vejonis (UGF) announced that Lembergs’ statements present a security risk for Latvia.

In a recent press-conference Lembergs announced: ‘If the ruling coalition parties support the kind of behaviour demonstrated by NATO sailors in Ventspils, then this is where we part ways.’

In regard to Defence Minister Raimonds Vejonis, Lembergs allowed for the possibility that the minister may not be aware of all the causes for the recent incident in Ventspils. Lembergs added he sees no security risk in his request to ask for NATO Secretary General’s apology.


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