Latviski English По-русски
Wednesday 19.09.2018 | Name days: Verners, Muntis
LatviaLatvia Lembergs, Brigmanis, UGF and Concord have enjoyed friendly relations for years

(No Ratings Yet)

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,» 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

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 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

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.» 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,» 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),» 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,» 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.» 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».

Leave a reply

Russian plane near Syria shot down by ally targeting Israeli planes

The Russian military plane, which went missing on Monday, has been shot down by its ally Syria targeting Israel's war planes and the number of servicemen lost in the event has been corrected from 14 to 15, the Russian government stated.

Latvian border guards find more than 140 kg of hashish in a car

On 16 September, Latvian State Border Guard detained a 1991-born man and his car at Grebnev border checkpoint. A secret compartment containing 145.3 kg of narcotic substances was found in his car during a routine inspection, as reported by State Border Guard.

EU suspects German car-makers of colluding against cleaner technology

EU competition watchdogs are probing if German automotive giants have colluded to restrict the development of clean emission technology.

Number of job vacancies in Latvia up 7.8 thousand in Q2 2018

In Q2 2018 there were 24.5 thousand job vacancies in Latvia, which is 7.8 thousand vacancies or 46.6 % more than in Q2 2017. In public sector there were 7.2 thousand and in private sector 17.3 thousand job vacancies.

Latvian government desperate to resolve the growing piles of used tires problem

Latvian government has supported Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry’s prepared report ‘On maintenance of used tires’. This report includes proposals for measures to help resolve the matter regarding speeding up recycling and regeneration rates, as well as the no less important matter of maintenance of used tires.

Cargo volumes handled by Latvian ports remain stable in first half-year of 2018

Latvian ports transshipped 43.468 million tonnes of cargoes in the first eight months of 2018, which is 0.9% more than in the same period of last year. According to data from Transport Ministry, cargo turnover’s negative balance continues declining at Ventspils port, where 13.274 million tonnes of cargoes were transshipped in the first eight months, which is a drop of 11.9%.

airBaltic carried 18% more passengers in summer

Latvian airline airBaltic has carried 2,770,047 more passengers to destinations in Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East in the first eight months of 2018, BNN was told by the company.

Ukrainian workers in Lithuania gradually fill gap left by Lithuanian exodus

Companies in Lithuania, in particular operating in construction, logistics and retail chains, are increasingly inviting workers from Ukraine and Belarus to fill the worker shortage of Lithuanians moving to richer countries.

ABLV Bank assets worth EUR 47.14 million recovered in August

Assets worth EUR 47.13 million were recovered from the liquidated ABLV Bank in August, which is 2.2 times more than a month prior, according to the account published in Latvian Herald.

Estonia bank watchdog points to Denmark's responsibility over Danske

As to the allegations of doubtful billions flowing via the Estonia branch of Danske Bank, the Estonian watchdog of financial institutions has noted that the Danish supervisory authority was responsible for the lender's risk control.

Liepaja City Council vice-chairman steps down

On Monday, 17 September, Liepaja City Council vice-chairman for tourism and investment affairs Ģirts Kronbergs announced his resignation.

Sixteen contenders apply for Rundale Castle Museum director’s post

A total of sixteen contenders have applied for participation in Latvian Culture Ministry’s announced open personnel selection process to find the next director of Rundale Castle Museum.

Russia: Military plane with 14 Russian soldiers has been lost near Syria

A Russian war plane with 14 servicemen on board has disappeared while over the Mediterranean Sea near the coast of Syria, Russia's Defence Ministry has stated.

Unity decides not to support UGF’s initiative for people’s elected president

Unity political party has no plans to support the amendments submitted by the Union of Greens and Farmers on people’s elected president, says Unity’s chairman Arvils Ašeradens.

U.S. to introduce more import tariffs on China produce

The U.S. government has announced imposing import duty tariffs on Chinese products worth USD 200 billion (EUR 171 billion), in a trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies.

Latvian parties’ pre-election promotion costs reach EUR 1.64 million

Three weeks prior to Saeima elections, expenses of Latvian political parties on promotion have reached EUR 1,638,393. Concord remains in the least expense-wise, according to information from Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau.

Internal Security Bureau criticizes State Police for insufficient corruption prevention

Internal Security Bureau has detained several police officers under suspicion of bribery. Because of that, the bureau has voiced criticism to the management of Latvia’s State Bureau for insufficient corruption prevention measures.

Full transition to electronic documents in construction sector planned for 2019

During a meeting on 17 September, Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers supported the amendments to Construction Law developed by Economy Ministry. These amendments provide for a full transition to electronic document handling in the country’s construction sector starting from 2019. This includes submission, decision-making processes and coordination – all of these processes will be performed using Construction Information System, as confirmed by Economy Ministry.

MPC permit revoked for liquidated Jurmala-based M7 Energy

Latvia’s Economy Ministry has made a decision to revoke the permit that allows selling produced electrical energy within mandatory procurement component system from SIA M7 Energy (previous name SIA KSER) CHP plant in Jurmala.

U.S. looking into Danske Bank operations in Estonia

Danske Bank, the leading bank in Denmark, is being investigated by U.S. authorities in relation to alleged money laundering from Russia involving Danske's Estonia branch, American media report.

Nearly 80,000 people have left Riga to live elsewhere in last seven years

In the past seven years, 78,692 people have left Riga to live in other countries or elsewhere in Latvia, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.

Estonia's free rural bus rides result in passenger boom

Rural bus lines in the majority of Estonian counties have been offering free trips since early July, and in August an increase of 10,000 more rides was observed, resulting in frequently overcrowded buses.

NP: Riga municipality plans to adopt EUR 5 entry fee to city’s centre

A EUR 5 entry fee to Riga’s centre may be a solution Riga municipality has picked to help solve possible traffic congestion problem that is expected to appear in 2020, when it is planned commence construction of Rail Baltica railway. Because of that, several major streets will be closed down for traffic, according to information from Nekā personīga programme.

State Chancellery: no attempts to influence elections from abroad have been observed

Compared to the attempts to influence election results in other countries, no active attempts to influence 13th Saeima elections have been observed so far, said State Chancellery acting director for prevention of hybrid threats Kaspars Ozoliņš.

Switzerland urges Russia to quit violating law, spying in its territory

Switzerland's foreign ministry has urged Russia to stop illegal activities on its territory after three suspected spying cases have emerged in the country in 2018.