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Monday 16.07.2018 | Name days: Hermīne, Estere
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Lembergs’ statements to Russian media ‘dig a grave’ for Latvia’s safety

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAivars Lembergs’ friendly and beneficial attitude towards Russia, including his latest statements that the only ones who would benefit from the introduction of NATO soldiers to Latvia are the prostitutes, has been noted by Russian media. As a result, Lembergs was invited to express his opinion on Russian television. However, his latest statements have caused a big wave of concerned talks in Latvia.

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.’

For Latvia and Ventspils party may 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’.

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.

It should be added that three senators of the U.S. Congress are in Latvia at the moment. One of them is Senator John McCain. He recently told Latvian media that the overall weak response from the West in regard to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine may lead to ‘very bad things’. When asked if the current situation can serve as an indication that the western world is not prepared for sacrifices and actual economic sanctions to stop Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, McCain said he has been rather concerned over how weak the response from the west has been so far. He added that it may be due to the fact that the response is not considered to be especially strong against Vladimir Putin. The same was recently said by Polish MEP, member of the Foreign Affairs Commission and former EP Vice-President Jacek Saryusz-Wolski. According to him, Ukraine is the target of Russia’s aggression. However, Ukraine may not be the only one targeted. The Polish politician believes it is a matter of restoring an empire – the same kind the Soviet Union once was. It means the addition of new territories under Russia’s influence.

He believes, some territories are planned to be added to the territory of the Russian Federation the same way it happened with Crimea. The Polish politician believes current events in Ukraine may come to Latvia as well.

Latvian Saeima’s National Security Committee is also very concerned over the news of secret public opinion surveys being performed in Latvia’s eastern territories. In his interview to TV3, Valdis Zatlers mentioned that such probing is being carried out in secret. He believes at its core lies Russia’s interest to know how people view the country’s decision to annex Crimea.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statements have only increased concerns over the possible attack. Recently, he unexpectedly revealed that society’s mood in Crimean Peninsula had been secretly researched prior to the referendum, and that Russia’s later actions there were based on results of sociological surveys. ‘The fact is they probe social thoughts, our media space. They interview residents who travel abroad. They ask specific questions regarding their personal opinion on what happened to Crimea and Russia’s policy in general – they want to know how far they can go,’ – explained Zatlers.

Friendly towards Russia

Even though Lembergs is accused of taking bribes, extorting money, forging documents, laundering money and abusing official power, he remains of the wealthiest people in Latvia.

After the change of government, Lembergs once said: ‘It was easier for those who had large properties and hoped to recover them. I, on the other hand, had to choose a side – independence or preservation of USSR. Those who did not have much to lose at the time (laboratory staff or other labourers) had it easier…’

There were definitely difficulties in terms of choice for Lembergs. According to documents acquired by Kompromat.lv, as a student of LVU in 1973, was also an agent of KGB. His nickname was ‘Peteris’. On August 8th, 1973, Lembergs was dismissed due to his decision to join the Latvian Communist Party and his following work as Ventspils District Committee Instructor. In 9178, he was listed as an officer of KGB reserve.

‘On January 5th, 1991, the Third Department of KGB, which was in charge of military counter-intelligence, sent a telegram to Soviet military and navy bases around the country. In this telegram, as it was uncovered by Russian investigators, there were orders from the head of KGB to found private commercial companies in order to sell military technologies to foreign powers. New companies were to become a cover for KGB leaders and the most valuable operatives. These companies were meant to provide finances for the organization’s work undercover should “destructive elements” ever come to power.’

It is mentioned in Times Magazine’s survey that over the course of 1989 to 1991, one of the main objectives of KGB was to create joint-companies with foreign countries. Officially these companies were listed as the main engines of the Soviet economy of the Perestroika era. Unofficially, however, they were a one-way road for sucking away state or party funds to offshore accounts of high-rank leaders and KGB officers.

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.

Lembergs believes: if NATO were to introduce its forces to Latvia, this could mean that Latvia may become a potential battlefield between USA and Russia. This would threaten Latvia’s long-term economic, social and security interests. However, as Olivers Everts writes: ‘Mr Lembergs forgot or did not want to mention that Latvia’s territory has been a potential battlefield for the past 50 years. And this was largely against the will of the Latvian people, because Latvia’s territory housed not only foreign and Soviet military forces, but also nuclear weapons (near Ventspils as well) at one point or another. This means that all this time Latvia was at risk of an open military conflict.’

‘Lembergs was an officer of the Soviet army at some point. He either was not aware or had sincere beliefs that the Soviet forces had threatened Latvia’s economic, social and security interests. I do not remember ever reading about Mr Lembergs protests about Soviet nuclear weapons being stationed on Latvia’s territory as well,’ – says Olivers Everts.

Unity’s representative, MEP of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Inese Vaidere told BNN that Lembergs most recent statements came as a complete surprise for her. She believes such an attitude towards this matter is irresponsible. ‘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.

Ref: 102.109.109.5892


Leave a reply

  1. michael walsh, journalist says:

    Few non-Latvians are as patriotically inclined towards Latvia than I am. I will have no truck with mischief-makers or fools who spuriously claim that to be anti-NATO is pro-Russian. I have been commenting on European history and global politics for many decades. Let me offer you a peek into my crystal ball.
    The U.S. economy is in meltdown, the value of the dollar declining. Internationally there is movement away from its supporting base, the petro-dollar. When that goes, the U.S. implodes.
    The only way to forestall (not prevent) that event is to profit from war. War in Europe is in America’s interests as it was in WW2. They want it fought on European soil whilst the U.S. stays clear of the carnage, unless it turns nuclear. The Baltic States will be to U.S. interests what Belgium and France‘s field were to 19th and 20th century England. Battlegrounds to stop French, Spanish or German hegemony. Fast-forward to the U.S. wished for conflict with Russia, the Baltic Sea being the new ‘English Channel‘.

  2. Linda says:

    Time for Lembergs to leave office. Vote him out Latvia.

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