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Wednesday 19.09.2018 | Name days: Verners, Muntis
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Pietiek.com: Lembergs, Brigmanis, UGF and Concord have enjoyed friendly relations for years

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«For years, Aivars Lembergs, his faithful eunuch Brigmanis, Union of Greens and Farmers and Concord deputies have enjoyed close and friendly relations not just within the Saeima but as part of events organized by Kremlin’s special services, such as the sports games for parliamentarians in Moscow,» Pietiek.com portal shares an opinion.

The portal also mentions last year’s 10 November, when UGF member Jānis Klaužs ‘together with old friends from Concord Ivans Klementjevs, Mihails Zemļinskis, Vitalijs Orlovs, Ivans Ribakovs and a number of other people too shy or hard to identify’ arrived in Moscow to celebrate Lāčplēsis Day.

The portal notes that UGF and Concord members had travelled together to Moscow in December 2016. Among those people were Jānis Klaužs (UGF) and former UGF secretary general Kārlis Boldišēvics, as well as Mihails Zemlinskis (Concord), Vitalijs Orlovs (Concord) and Ivans Klementjevs (Concord). Only this was not reported to a wide audience.

«It is entirely possible this tradition was introduced in 2009 to forget the events in Georgia in August 2018 and to maintain good relations with friends in Europe. Since then Latvia’s Saeima has been represented at those sports games by many well-known politicians not only from Concord but other parties as well. I will only say that the 2010 Moscow games were attended by Igors Aleksandrovs (New Era Party), Jānis Eglītis (People’s Party), Mareks Segliņš (People’s Party), as well as Saeima workers with ties to UGF – Kārlis Boldišēvics and Martins Olekšs,» the opinion article’s author told Pietiek.com.

In 2012, this event was attended by now the Transport Minister Uldis Augulis (UGF), Rihards Eigims (once a member of UGF), Jānis Klaužs (UGF), Romāns Naudiņš (National Alliance ‘All for Latvia!’ – For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK), as well as Saeima employees Kārlis Boldišēvics, Martins Olekšs and Māris Krūmiņš.  A year later sports games in Moscow were attended by Rihards Eigims (UGF), Ainars Latkovskis (Unity), now the Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola (UGF), Jānis Klaužs (UGF), Romāns Naudiņš (NA-FF/LNNK) and Dzintars Zaķis (Unity), the portal adds.

Media also note that no matter what Aivars Lembergs and Brigmanis may say, UGF has managed to become ‘good friends’ not only with Concord but also Latvian Russians Union’s activists in the European Parliament. ‘Some time ago, former UGF member Grigule-Peterse together with Kremlin’s foreign policy ambassador Andrejs Mamikins (once a member of Concord, now part of LRU) and Tatyana Zhdanok (LRU) voted against European Parliament’s resolution in relation to combating Russia’s and terrorist organizations’ propaganda. Grigule and her friends Andrej and Tatyana were the only ones of Latvia’s represented MEPs who voted against this resolution.

What is particularly interesting is that sympathy is mutual, because both parties work back to back in multiple municipal administrations, covering up for one another in different schemes,’ writes Pietiek.com journalist.

A curious meeting took place in August 2016, when three UGF politicians – Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola, Transport Minister Uldis Augulis and Agriculture Minister Jānis Duklavs – held an informal meeting with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich at Karavela fish processing plant. Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, however, was only informed of Duklavs’ plans to meet with the Russian official, as previously reported by lsm.lv.

In February 2017, a delegation of representatives from Kremlin’s Trade and Commerce Chamber arrived in Riga. This delegation was hosted by not just Riga Mayor Nils Ušakovs (Concord) but also Agriculture Minister Jānis Dūklavs (UGF) and even former President of Latvia Andris Bērziņš (UGF). The latter explained it at the time the following way: «What is most important is what people think. People have enough power over those in power to convince those in power which path to take.»

Pietiek.com commented his response the following way: «OK, business with Russia is understandable, but why in the hell was there a demonstration of J.Primakov’s commemorative movie that praised Crimea’s occupation at the end of the event? In addition, all those present gave a thunderous applause to this piece of Kremlin propaganda.»

De Facto reported on Dūklavs’ influential ‘partners’ in May 2018. The programme reported that the minister’s trusted beer-brewing partner Igor Shekhelev also makes war ships for Russia.

«It is very possible that he also owns other companies around the world, but that’s just none of my business,» Dūklavs commented about his business partner. When asked how he views his business partner’s involvement in supplying the Russian army in the current geopolitical situation, Dūklavs evasively said he would ask Shekhelev about his business the next time he meets him.

Another example of successful cooperation between UGF and Concord would be the vote in the Saeima regarding the withdrawal of Inguna Sudraba from the parliamentary committee investigating Ridzene Hotel talks, which also featured Lembergs.

«With this act Concord and UGF have once again proven their ability to cooperate and understand each other almost without words in a critical situation. If Concord votes against, UGF abstains – and the other way around. The main objective for both parties is making sure western-oriented parties do not get a majority of votes,» Pietiek.com concluded.

Observations were also performed for a recent vote for fast loans, in which both parties once again supported one another. On 7 August, Saeima’s Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee planned to decide on multiple new restrictions. This includes new regulations for fast loan sector. «Unfortunately, thanks to certain public servants from UGF, the committee’s plans were halted because the meeting was ignored by deputies Inesis Boķis (UGF), Jānis Klaužs (UGF), Aivars Meija, Artūrs Rubiks (Concord), Jānis Urbanovičs (Concord), Ivars Zariņš (Concord), kā arī Anrijs Matīss (Concord),» Pietiek.com writes.

The portal has information that once a member of Jurmala City Council Jelizaveta Krivcova (Concord) voiced a prediction that after 2018 elections the ruling coalition in Latvia will be ruled by Concord and UGF. «She mentioned that Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis is no fool, and to ensure government stability, he will not openly announce UGF’s cooperation with Concord. It is a tactic for misleading voters, because in reality the friendship between the two parties in Jurmala and Daugavpils is evident, and we cannot discount the possibility of this friendship growing even more after 2018 Saeima elections,» Pietiek.com mentions in the article.

UGF leader Augusts Brigmanis mentioned in a recent interview to Latvijas Avīze that he has never tried hiding cooperation with Concord in different municipalities. He mentioned in particular: «Yes, UGF is in the same coalition as Concord in certain municipalities. Sometimes our votes coincide, but we do not expect there to be a coalition.»

Pietiek.com article’s author comments this position the following way – «it is not important if you are in the coalition, party names are not important as long as you are in the Saeima».


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