bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Friday 23.08.2019 | Name days: Valgudis, Ralfs, Vitālijs

Is Latvia Russian enemy No 5?

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+2 rating, 2 votes)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Former President of Latvia Valdis Zatlers and Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev

Despite comparatively small territories and population of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania versus Russia, the Baltics still rank in the TOP 5 Russian enemies – right next to such countries as the U.S., Great Britain, China and Georgia, according to the Russian media RBK.

The study analysed historic, social and economic factors. The key apple of discord is the Russian speaking community’s living conditions, the prevailing fascist mood in Latvia and Estonia as well as different perception of historical events. The Baltic countries’ close relationship with the U.S. and intervention with the North European gas pipeline construction also pose a threat, according to the study.

Both Russian and Latvian representatives of national associations based in Latvia point out Latvia is its huge neigbour’s bridge to Europe. However, Latvians criticise the Russian government and vice versa.

Latvia should be proud of its influence

Eriks Jekabsons, politician and ex Justice Minister, thinks there is still «soft power» in Russia and it is aimed at recovering influence not only in the Baltics but also the whole eastern region.

In terms of Russia’s enemies TOP, Jakobsons points out «rasputinism» is still popular in Russia. It means the historical person Rasputin is attributed honesty, dignity and holy powers. But at the same time he is also believed to have been demonic and cruel.

«The same also characterises the Russian politic mentality, which reminds schizophrenia,» he says.

Russian citizens are willing to claim residential permits in Latvia as they feel very comfortable here, according to the Latvian First Party founder, who is currently not in active politics.

Positioning Latvia as an enemy might suggest the Kremlin propaganda. Based on «Rasputin» traditions, the Baltics are usually characterised as being fascist and violating the rights of Russian-speaking communities.

The question is whether this «soft power» is really that soft. It could as well been «hard power» but with a more appealing facade.

However, Jekabsons is not surprised at the Baltics ranking among the top Russian enemies. He ironizes Latvia has also been named the second right after the U.S., so the 5th position could even signal progress.

«What might be threatening them could be the fact Latvia can be regarded as the new Silk Road, a bridge or a window to Europe, bringing new winds to Russia, even draft. We should be proud that such a huge country as Russia really considers that small territory as Latvia,» he says.

Russians doing not so well in Russia

Imants Paradnieks, leader of the politic association All for Latvia!-For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK, points out the TOP reveals a very primitive standpoint.

«It is rather weird to call an enemy a state that is not willing to yield to an ideology someone is trying to bestow upon it,» he says.

He also adds people who move to Russia face worse conditions. Upon returning to Latvia, they have changed their mind and the Russian-speaking community is ready to add to a consolidated society. «Then they also think different of national values», Paradnieks says.

He calls talks on Latvia being an enemy the Kremlin’s policy, as it benefits from such an image of an enemy.

«If an enemy goes hand in hand with a state that refuses to yield to a forced ideology, yes, we can say the survey is precise. Otherwise, it is absurd, as all the nations and states in the world have the right to equality,» Paradnieks adds.

De-stability in Latvia undermines «Russian bridge» to Europe

Victor Guschin, head of Latvian Center of the International Russian Compatriot Council, points out such a survey should be perceived skeptically, as often they serve merely to reflect opinion of different wings and mass media.

He believes there are serious issues in Russia-Latvia relations, however, a clear line should be drawn between the residents’ friendly attitude and the government’s standpoint, which is not that friendly at all.

Already since 1991, there is a policy of transmitting certain interests of the government, including, Russian phobia rhetoric and the outcome of the Second World War. Latvia is still at an informative and psychologic war against the Russian-speaking community.

«Such a policy is dangerous not only for Russia, but also for Latvia,» he says.

Guschin adds that any bid to distance from experience accumulated during the Soviet Union means elimination of business, science and culture. He calls the invasion of western interest – massive.

«What worries the most is whether the approach Latvia advocates will not hit Latvians themselves», he says, adding that any signs of destabilization in Latvia, either economic or demographic, endanger also Russia, because Latvia serves as its bridge to Europe.

Nevertheless, the official representative of the Russian Embassy to Latvia refrained from commenting to BNN the ranking of Latvia in Russia’s list of TOP 5 enemies. He adds that the Embassy does not comment on any information that is not Russia’s official standpoint.

However, it must be noted that in general information published by RBK in the Latvian mass media during the pre-election period could leave a strong impact on voters’ choice on the basis of national issues.


Leave a reply

  1. Hi says:

    Again misleading, provocative heading – bad journalism ! How can the reader take BNN seriously with such style.

  2. lotus says:

    Why misleading? It’s a question, not a statement. I think this is a serious theme for Latvia and Russia, and it’s good to have as many analytic articles as possible.

  3. USALATVIA says:

    The World needs people like Eriks Jacobson’s. He’s reminiscent to the equivalent of Ron Paul in America. The one honest Politician left in America. Luckily Latvia has him, one true and honest man!

    In years to come you will watch his World wide popularity grow. We just need the old people and hatred of the Former Soviet Union die off … Once things cool down again and less pressure comes from the Kremlin. It is likely people will be seeing much more of him. God knows the World needs it!

  4. Bub says:

    It is a pity this war never ends between these two nationalities…

  5. not important To USALATVIA says:

    Jekabsons – true and honest man (?)
    Are you serious?
    Judgement day coming

Lithuania backs Sinkevičius as European Commission nominee

The Lithuanian parliament on Thursday, August 22, voted to support Virginijus Sinkevičius, the Lithuanian Minister of the Economy and Innovation, as the country’s pick for the next European Commission.

New member of Riga Freeport board rushes to meet controversial Šlesers, TV Ziņas says

Riga councilman Sandris Bergmanis has a day after being elected to the board of the Freeport of Riga Authority met with businessman and former Latvian minister Ainārs Šlesers, according to the news programme TV3 Ziņas.

Latvian power production drops to lowest level in year

Energy companies in Latvia produced 357 655 megawatt hours of power in July, which is the lowest level of national power output since July 2018. This allowed to cover 64% of the Latvian electricity consumption, according to AS Augstsprieguma tīkls.

Compensation payments of defunct Latvian PNB Banka begin

With operations of the Latvian bank, AS PNB Banka, stopped, the process of paying the guaranteed compensation to its clients has begun on August 22, according Citadele, the lender tasked with the payments.

Riga planning to introduce tourist fee – one euro per day

The Riga City Council is discussing a plan to introduce a tourist fee charging all places of tourist accommodation a fee of one euro per day.

Expert: With Belarus electricity freezing Baltics’ solidarity, Moscow is over the moon

In a blow to Lithuania’s far-reaching plans, Latvia has announced it looks forward to buying electricity from a nuclear power plant in Belarus’ Astravyets under construction 50 kilometres away from Vilnius.

WHO: Little risk from microplastics in drinking water

The World Health Organization has declared that the current level of microplastic particles in drinking water does not pose is not a serious risk for health, yet more research was necessary to determine their effects on human health.

Subsidies to controversial Riga transport company could increase by EUR 20 mln

Amid the criticism of the Riga municipal transport company Rīgas satiksme for its losses and their effect on the Latvian state budget, a plan has been voiced to increase its subsidies, now 120 million euros, by another 20 million euros, Latvian Radio reports.

Latvian Minister keeping adviser detained by corruption watchdog for now

Latvian Agriculture Minister Kaspars Gerhards will clarify the reason, why his advisor and the mayor of the city of Ogre, Egils Helmanis, has been detained by corruption investigators, to decide on keeping him in office.

Trump, Macron willing to readmit Russia to G7, despite Crimea annexation

The leaders of France and the United States have expressed their backing to readmitting Russia to the G7 conference of world powers in 2020, despite Ukraine’s Crimea still being held by Moscow, CNN reports.

Latvian excise tax income up by 8% in first half of 2018

The Latvian excise tax income in the first half of 2019 has been 521 million euros, –an increase by 39 million euros, or 8.1% – compared to the respective period last year, showed data by the Latvian State Revenue Service.

Latvian PM: Most of freely available 2020 budget funds already earmarked

Discussing the 2020 Latvian national budget, Latvian prime minister Krišjānis Kariņš pointed out that its fiscal space is limited by previous decisions and that the expected losses of the Riga transport company will not permit raising wages and pensions nationally.

Corruption watchdog detains Ogre city mayor Helmanis

The Latvian Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau has on Wednesday detained the mayor of central Latvian city of Ogre, Egils Helmanis, according to LETA news agency.

New members to Freeport of Riga Authority elected, despite criticism

The Riga City Council elected to the Board of the Freeport of Riga Authority, mayor Oļegs Burovs and councilman Sandris Bergmanis, despite heavy criticism of the latter for incompetence and lack of vision.

Italy loses government, coalition of right-wing, anti-establishment parties collapses

Italy has lost its government with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announcing resignation after the right-wing League party pushed for no-confidence motion to its own government.

Kaljulaid opposed to Estonian minister after police chief scandal

Alleging that Estonian Interior Minister Mart Helme has violated the law by trying to sack top police chief, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid has stated that the minister has no place in the government.

Planned Latvian economic cases’ court conceptually backed by government

The plan by the Latvian Ministry of Justice to establish a court of economic cases has on Tuesday, August 20, been supported by the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers.

Riga deputy mayor posts go to Harmony and independent politician

In the Riga City Council, deputy mayors have been elected with one post going to Anna Vladova from Harmony and the other – to Vadims Baraņņiks from the group of independent councilmen.

Latvia charges energy company executives for attempted fraud

Two board members of Latvian power company SIA Rīgas enerģija have been charged in a criminal case for an attempt to acquire with deceit the rights to supply electricity as part of the mandatory procurement component programme.

Consumer protection: 34% of Latvians admit post-vacation financial difficulties

During vacation, 77% of Latvians spend more money than planned, but 34% admit having trouble making ends meet after vacation, according to a poll by the Latvian Consumer Protection Centre.

Firms like Riga transport company to be banned from working with losses, minister says

As the European Union’s statisticians have classified the Riga municipal transport company Rīgas satiksme in the debt of the national budget, it is planned in Latvia to prohibit such companies from working with losses, Latvian Finance Minister Jānis Reirs has told LNT 900 sekundes programme.

Minor dies in large fire in Latvia

An underage person has been found dead in a large fire in the Latvian region of Vidzeme, the Latvian Fire and Rescue Service has said. Person wascsaved from burning house in Liepāja.

UK aims to end free entry of EU citizens on October 31

UK to stop free migration from European Union member states to the country right after the likely no-deal Brexit on October 31, the British government has stated.

Riga city elects new mayor – Oļegs Burovs – and restores decade-old coalition

The Riga City Council has elected Oļegs Burovs as the new mayor, ending two months of political discussions and restoring the coalition that has ruled in the Latvian capital for ten years.

EU: Rīgas satiksme cuts Latvian budget fiscal room in 2020 by 72 mln EUR

The Riga city company Rīgas satiksme should, according to European Union criteria, be in included in the general government sector, thus it would cut the fiscal space of the 2020 Latvian state budget by 72 million euros, Finance Ministry stated.