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Sunday 18.11.2018 | Name days: Doloresa, Aleksandrs
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Security Police: tram procurement in Daugavpils may negatively impact Latvia’s image

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe plans of Daugavpils City Council to procure trams manufactured by the Russian military industrial complex present no direct threats. However, this deal may negatively impact Latvia’s international image, as explained by Security Police.

After receiving opinion from state institutions, Daugavpils City Council decided to purchase trams manufactured by the Russian military industrial complex. The trams will be procured by Lithuanian Railvec company for AS Daugavpils satiksme. The city council explains that the head of the transport company – Romāns Savickis – claimed at a meeting that he had received positive opinions from Foreign Affairs Ministry and Security Police.

As reported by Security Police, an investigation has been performed of this particular case. Although no direct threats were found, Latvia’s international image may suffer from this. Additionally, it could mean a breach of sanctions by Latvia. Security Police has informed the city council of the possible risks for national interests.

«SP believes the procurement of trams from the Russian company may negatively impact Latvia’s international image. It is important to consider that the tram procurement is performed using finances from European Union structure funds. That being the case, the municipality plans to procure goods from Russia in a time when this country is applied with international sanctions. Additionally, the municipality plans to procure trams produced by the Russian military industrial complex,» the police explains.

But because the sanction regime tends to change, SP will continue observing deals of this kind.

Latvian Foreign Affairs Ministry, meanwhile, says the decision made by Daugavpils City Council to procure trams from a manufacturer associated with Russia’s military industrial complex seems confusing. In response to Savickis’ claims regarding the alleged positive opinion from both institutions, the Foreign Affairs Ministry notes that the ministry did not communicate with Daugavpils City Council directly in regards to the procurement matter.

«Foreign Affairs Ministry had mentioned the risks associated with this deal both to competent Latvian institutions and on the public space. At the same time, it should be said that Foreign Affairs Ministry is not responsible for monitoring procurement decisions made by Daugavpils City Council,» the ministry explains.

In accordance with Foreign Affairs Ministry’s competences in regards to sanctions, the institution provided confirmation for the Central Finance and Contracting Agency in April 2018 that although Railvec is not part of the EU sanction list, the owner of Transmasholding was added to the so-called Russian oligarchs list published by US authorities, the ministry adds.

The ministry also mentions that as of 12 July, amendments are in force to Law on International Sanctions and National Sanctions of the Republic of Latvia. These changes provide special rules for public procurements, in accordance with which organizers of procurements have to take into account sanctions imposed by EU, NATO and USA when evaluating partners.

TV3 programme Nekā personīga had previously reported that Railvec company, which won the tender, is committed to supplying Daugavpils with eight trams manufactured by Russian Tver Carriage Works for a total of EUR 4,953,000.

The programme found that the company is owned by Transmasholding. This and a number of other factories also produce military equipment for the Russian army, such as launch platforms for inter-continental missiles.


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