bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Monday 23.07.2018 | Name days: Magda, Magone, Mērija
LatviaLatvia

SP: Russia uses Russian Orthodox Church in order to influence Latvian society

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIslamic radicals that return from war zones create a serious threat to our country. However, the Orthodox church has also increased its influence in Latvia, teaching youngsters and attracting Latvians to their activities, said Chief of Latvia Security Police Normunds Mežviets in his interview to Nekā personīga programme of TV3.

What is the situation with Latvia’s Muslim community? Have there been any radicalisation processes?

Our Muslim community is relatively small compared to other European countries. Members of the Muslim community have integrated well into Latvian society. I will say, however, that certain people we can characterize as extremists come surface from time to time. We keep a close eye on their activities.

How many such people are there? Several? A dozen?

There are multiple people like that. I will not comment on their exact numbers.

Are those people ‘true Muslims’ who had been born into this confession, or are they ones who had taken up this religion later on in life?

There are people who were born into this religion and those who had been converted.

How is recruitment of Muslims living in Latvia to go fight in conflicts around the world carried out exactly?

Internet and modern technologies unfortunately play a large role in terrorism nowadays. There have been countless cases when people became radicalised on the internet: taking in propaganda spread by Islamic terrorists, contacting people who think the same, creating information exchange networks and finally travelling to areas of armed conflicts in order to take part.

Does this happen to Muslims living in Latvia as well?

There have been some cases. Yes.

Is it possible to use the internet to train people to carry out acts of terror?

Yes. The internet is full of different terrorist training materials, which can teach people to use firearms and create explosives. So it is entirely possible for a person who has not attended any teachings, but is nonetheless radical in his beliefs, to use the internet, become even more radical, contact the ‘right’ people and travel to zones with armed conflicts and become engaged in them. Because such people go unnoticed in the Muslim community, it is hard for special services to gain information about them in order to catch them.

Looking at profiles of people who have requested residence permits, are there people who have come from zones of armed conflicts?

There have been applications submitted by people that come from countries with raging armed conflicts and all of them have been denied.

According to information from the press in regard to Latvian citizens who fight on the side of Ukrainian separatists, these people have come from National Bolsheviks. How do authorities assess activities of members of such organizations?

National Bolsheviks play a major role in the context of the Ukrainian crisis. The proportion of National Bolsheviks among Ukrainian separatists is very large. This movement has been present in Russia for more than 20 years. Originally there had been several thousand people who held this groups ideal very dear. This movement’s infrastructure is used in order to get involved in armed clashes in Ukraine. People are carefully assessed and trained. National Bolsheviks have their own combat units. With that, it is no surprise that SP has picked up on activities of National Bolsheviks in Latvia.

About other possible threats. Non-citizens Congress, For Native Tongue – these organizations had been mentioned in SP’s report for 2014 as organizations that split society and work with ideas of Latgale’s possible separation from the rest of Latvia. How popular are they among Russian-speaking residents in Latvia?

I believe the Non-citizens Congress is not particularly popular among Russian-speakers. I would like to emphasize that the Non-citizens Congress is no even an organization. It is not officially registered anywhere. It is merely a group of people who wish to defend the rights of non-citizens. It is an illegitimate group that has decided that they have been elected by non-citizens to represent them in talks with Latvian government and international institutions. It is not the case. Many Russian-speaking politicians wish to present wishes as reality.

How big is the influence of the Orthodox Church over the opinion of Russian-speakers on current events? How do Russian politicians use this?

The church has very strong ties with the government in Russia. It is a long-standing tradition in Russia. Ties between Russian officials and Orthodox Church have only become stronger in the context of the crisis in Ukraine. Russian Orthodox Church believes that all believers create one whole that has very close ties with Russia and its unique role in the world. Like other confessions in the world, Russian and Latvian Orthodox Church have a specific potential to influence a great number of people.

Is it possible to say that Russia can potentially use Latvian Orthodox Church as one of its tools of influence over Russian-speakers living in Latvia?

I believe there is such a possibility.

How actively do they use this potential?

Lately we’ve noticed that Latvian Orthodox Church has become more active. The church develops activities with children and youngsters. They try to attract a younger generation and actively work with Latvians.

What do you mean when you say they work with youngsters and actively involve Latvians?

They increase the range of people who are loyal to ideals of Orthodox beliefs. Considering that the Russian Orthodox Church has close ties with the government, loyalty to Russia, the concept of a Russian world and belief in Russia’s unique geopolitical mission is formed automatically.

Ref: 102.109.109.6363


Leave a reply

Nearly 10% of HIV infected in Latvia are youngsters

Latvia is currently the leader among newly uncovered HIV cases in Europe. On top of that, nearly 10% of all HIV infected are youngsters, says public health specialist Baltic HIV Association member Anda Ķīvīte.

In pictures: Large wildfires in Sweden continue

In Sweden, record summer temperatures and weeks without rain have caused series of wildfires across the vast country.

Lursoft: catering sector in Latvia – how much industry leaders earn and pay in taxes

Using a study and compiling data on companies’ business activities for the past three years, Lursoft wanted to find out if it is true catering companies in Latvia work with losses, and what their tax contribution is.

Shooting attack in Canada claims lives

A shooting attack has taken place in Toronto, Canada, with two people having been killed died and 13 others injured.

Farmers in Estonia active in Open Farm Day

Estonian farmers have held their fourth Open Farm Day as over 250 farms in the Baltic country invited everyone interested to experience growing and making of domestic food and agricultural products.

Police commence investigation of an offshore network owned by Lembergs’ daughter

Latvian State Police has commenced an investigation following journalists’ publication of materials about an offshore network owned by suspended Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs’ daughter.

Polish Sejm rushes to change defiant chief Judge of Supreme Court

Poland's legislators have passed rules to hasten the changing of a new Supreme Court chief as part of far-reaching judicial reform that has been criticised by the European Commission among others.

Heat wave to continue in Latvia along with thunderstorms and heavy rain at times

The heat wave active in Latvia will not back off this week – days will remain hot and night-time air temperature will not drop below +20° C. Heavy rain and thunder will be observed nearly every day this week, according to Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Bulgarian parliament opposes readmission of migrants from EU countries

Bulgarian parliament prohibited the its government from signing bilateral agreements with other European Union member states on readmitting migrants first entered the bloc in Bulgaria.

Week in Lithuania. Liberals ex-leader fails to recover confiscated cash

Eligijus Masiulis, a former Liberal Movement leader on trial in a major political corruption case, has failed to recover cash that was found and seized during searches of his home.

BNN summary of the week: open presidential election in Latvia and no more plastic bags for shoppers

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Future; Change; Fight; Decline; Business; Progress.

SRS: cash register reform still stagnates, but has become much faster than it was last year

The cash registers reform continues stagnating. However, it has become much faster than it was a year ago, as reported by State Revenue Service.

Specialists to search for solutions to topical environmental problems in Ventspils

On Friday, 20 July, a meeting was held between Ventspils Commercial Port representatives and specialists from State Environment Service.

Children with functional disorders to receive services financed by EU funds

Child invalids will have access to social services intended to improve their social skills and mobility. More than EUR 4.2 million has been allocated for this goal from the European Social Fund, as confirmed by Latvia’s Central Financing and Contracting Agency.

Producer price level in industry up 4.3% in Latvia

Compared to June 2017, the average level of producer prices in Latvian industry increased by 4.3 % in June 2018. Prices of products sold on the domestic market rose by 4.8 % and those of exported products by 3.7 %.

Total tax debts in Latvia in July – 1.212 billion euros

At the beginning of July total tax debts in Latvia, including outstanding debts, halted debts and debts applied with repayment term extensions, accounted for EUR 1.212 billion, which is 0.8% less than a month prior, according to data from the State Revenue Service.

Survey: every third Latvian resident has received illegal loan offers

Nearly every third resident in Latvia or 31% of respondents admit having received offers to use illegal loan services, as concluded in a survey performed by Latvian Alternative Financial Services Association and SKDS.

Libya opposed to EU's idea to establish migrant centres in North Africa

Libya is against the solution of the European Union to set up migrant centres in the North African country as a means to keep migrants from arriving in the bloc and Libya would not be convinced with financial support, its Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj has noted.

Arrest warrant on Catalan ex-President cancelled by Spain

The Supreme Court of Spain cancelled a European arrest warrant for former Catalan regional leader Carles Puigdemont, as Germany refused to extradite him to face accusations of rebellion for declaring the independence of Spain's region, Catalonia in 2017.

Latvian government plans to allow handing expired food to charity

Latvia’s Agriculture Ministry has prepared amendments to the Law on the Supervision of the Handling of Food that provide permission to hand over certain types of food products to charity after the end of their expiry date.

Estonian industrial producer prices up 2.9% since June 2017

Estonian industrial producer price index has risen by 2.9% between June 2017 and the first summer month this year, resulting in an increase of export prices as well, Estonian statisticians have estimated.

Putin urges NATO to quit «irresponsibly» developing ties with Ukraine, Georgia

Russia's President Vladimir Putin cautioned NATO against developing deeper relations with Ukraine and Georgia, evaluating such a policy was irresponsible and would have consequences for the military alliance.

Latvian parliament not in a hurry to support president Vejonis for a second term

Political parties represented in the Saeima are not eager to support President Raimonds Vējonis for his remainder for a second term.

Weather in Latvia will remain warm and even hot at times

Weather in Latvia in the nearest couple of days will be dictated by a cyclone. Because of that the sky will be partially covered by clouds; thunderstorms are also expected, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Hungary sued in EU Court for criminalising help to illegal immigrants

The European Union's executive body has stated that a law in Hungary that criminalises support for illegal immigrants is in breach with EU law and Hungary has now been referred to the European Court of Justice for the alleged non-compliance.