bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Wednesday 08.04.2020 | Name days: Dana, Dans, Danute, Edgars
LatviaLatvia

State company may take over Ventspils Freeport authority’s duties before year’s end

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Ventspils Freeport, work group, Saeima, Cabinet of Ministers, sanctions, USA, OFAC

Latvia’s Transport Minister Tâlis Linkaits

The newly-formed state company may take over the duties of Ventspils Freeport authority before the end of the year, says Latvia’s Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits.

He mentioned that different proposals are in the works for amendments to the Law on Ports to help form a new capital association in parallel to the existing Ventspils Freeport authority. This state company may take over relations with cooperation partners, tenants, as well as perform all associated transactions.

The minister said the new structure will take over the duties and functions of the port’s authority. When asked if it is clear how the process might progress further, Linkaits notes that more options will be discussed soon.

The politician stressed that processes are performed in parallel to one another – on 17 December the government will decide about the capital association’s foundation and discuss amendments to the Law on Ports.

If the Saeima approves amendments and they come to force, there will be legal foundation for «the capital association to take Ventspils Freeport authority’s place».

Additionally, Latvian institutions have commenced talks with USA about possible solutions to have sanctions the US Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) has adopted against Ventspils Freeport.

Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs, who also works in Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš’s composed work group to ensure uninterrupted function for Ventspils Freeport, wrote on his Twitter profile on Sunday, 15 December, that Latvia’s diplomatic service actively works with the US government to release Ventspils Freeport from the list of sanctions. ‘This is taking place in parallel to internal processes in Latvia,’ notes the minister.

If Ventspils Freeport authority is not removed from the list of sanctions by 8 January, banks will no longer service payments to anyone who works with it, including shipping companies that use port services. Continued cooperation will also threaten with secondary sanctions or other limitations from OFAC.

When asked if changes could be accomplished by 8 January, the Transport Minister said ‘we have no other options’.

We have to do everything not by 8 January but 1 January, because there are many tenants and agents who have signed contracts dating with 1 January. This is why we have to do all this in time, the minister stresses.

Read also: US sanctions will not affect companies in which Lembergs no longer has any influence

As it is known, on 12 December, Latvia’s prime minister formed a work group to ensure undisturbed operations for Ventspils Freeport. The work group is led by Linkaits and includes Rinkēvičs, Finance Minister Jānis Reirs, Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns, Economy Minister Ralfs Nemiro, Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Pūce and Agriculture Minister Kaspars Gerhards.

During the first meeting members of the group discussed the situation and came to the conclusion that the Saeima’s approved amendments to the Law on Ports are not enough to ensure state take-over of Riga and Ventspils ports.

This is why the work group decided to submit to the 17 December meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers proposals for the foundation of a new work company and have it perform the functions of Ventspils Freeport authority. The state will be the owner of the new capital association. No technical details about the proposal’s practical implementation are revealed at this time.

«We are in a situation when we have 30 days to secure successful economic operations within Ventspils Freeport’s territory and we will do all that is necessary to ensure companies have a new legal person to sign business deals with,» said the minister after a meeting of the work group.

He added that it is currently unknown who could take on management of the new capital association. According to the minister, the new company’s management principle will be similar to the existing one – the council will include representatives delegated by four ministers.

When asked if it is planned to replace Ventspils Freeport authority in the new capital association, Linkaits explained the situation is similar to insolvency situation. He mentioned Parex Bank’s take-over, when the ‘good bank’ was given all the good assets.

«In this case there will be a good port management that will be in charge of all necessary assets,» added the minister, mentioning business contracts, investment contracts and others as examples of good assets.

On Monday, 9 December, US Department of Treasury Office for Foreign Asset Control, based on the so-called Magnitsky law, established sanctions against a number of private persons and their organizations in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Aivars Lembergs is among those people.

OFAC has issued a Global Magnitsky General License Nr.1, which allows for limiting transactions performed by Ventspils Freeport Authority, Ventspils Development Agency, Business Development Association and Latvian Transit Business Association for 30 days.


Leave a reply

Court of first instance rejects Ušakovs’ appeal on dismissal as mayor of Riga

On Wednesday, 8 April, the Administrative District Court rejected Harmony politician Nils Ušakovs’ applications in which he appealed the order issued by Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Pūce on his dismissal from the post of mayor of Riga, as reported by the court.

Latest on COVID-19 in Baltics. 577 in Latvia, 912 in Lithuania, 1 185 in Estonia

The number of COVID-19 infection cases in Latvia has reached 577, increasing by 29 cases in the past day. Lithuanian media, meanwhile, report 912 confirmed infection cases. Public data in Estonia reports 1 185 infection cases in this Baltic State.

Inflation in Republic of Latvia reportedly at 1.4% in March

Compared to March 2019, the average level of consumer prices rose by 1.4 % in March 2020. Prices of goods have increased by 0.9 % and prices of services by 2.7 %.

Lithuania’s BC chief: «Latvia’s COVID-19 support for business has been swifter»

It is official: Lithuania is extending lockdown until April 27 to combat the coronavirus pandemic which death toll in the country stood at 15 as of Wednesday noon. As many as 912 persons were diagnosed with COVID-19 by then.

Lithuania on path to allow price regulation in government

In Lithuania, the majority of legislators in the Seimas, have backed draft amendments that set forth allowing the government to regulate the prices of essential goods during this time of quarantine, Lithuanian public broadcaster LRT reports.

BNN EXPLAINS | Envelope wages – one of the main reasons why idleness benefits may be denied

People need certainty – if they honestly pay taxes, they should be able to receive support from the state in the event of a crisis, since they have taken care of the state all this time by paying taxes, BNN was told in a phone conversation by chairman of LBAS Egils Baldzēns.

Criminal process launched against Aivars Lembergs for defamation

On 7 April 2020 State Police Kurzeme RP Saldus Department’s Criminal Police Office commenced a criminal process against Aivars Lembergs for untrue statements and claims he has used on multiple occasions during meetings of Ventspils City Council and Finance Committee against city council deputy Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis, as BNN was told by Kristovskis.

Latvia’s Prime Minister: we are financially well-situated in this crisis

We are financially well-situated in this crisis, said Latvia’s Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš in an interview to LTV programme Rīta panorama.

Latvian government supports dismissal of State Land Service’s director general

Latvia’s Cabinet of Ministers has supported Justice Ministry’s prepared decision project that details the dismissal of the State Land Service director general Solvitai Zvidriņa from her post, as confirmed by Justice Ministry.

China lifts lockdown in Wuhan

In the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the global pandemic of COVID-19 began, a lockdown has been lifted for the first time since January, British news portal The Guardian reports.

Support in Latvia for COVID-19 crisis prevention reaches four billion euros

The volume of support available in Latvia to finance preventive measures to overcome COVID-19 crisis has reached four billion euros, as reported by Latvian Finance Minister Jānis Reirs on Tuesday, 7 April.

Another month stuck home. Latvian government extends state of emergency

The state of emergency declared in Latvia because of COVID-19 pandemic has been extended until 12 May, as confirmed by Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs on social media on 7 April.

75 reports on competition distortions reported to Competition Council in 2019

Last year, the Competition Council received a total of 75 reports related to competition distortions caused by public persons, according to information listed in the latest public account for the institution’s more significant accomplishments in 2019 and developments in competition rights enforcement in Latvia.

Australia quashes child abuse convictions against cardinal Pell

A court in Australia has overturned child sex abuse convictions against cardinal George Pell after he was found guilty and received a prison term, British news portal The Guardian reports.

Education and Science Ministry considers not cancelling centralized exams

Latvia’s Education and Science Ministry considers the option to not cancel centralized exams, especially for 12th graders, as reported on Tuesday, 7 April, by Education Minister Ilga Šuplinska during a meeting with Saeima’s Education, Culture and Science Committee.

Estonian government in two minds on cutting public spending to help economy

Should public spending be cut to help restore the economy? Two of the three parties in the Estonian government have opposing views on this as economic recovery is increasingly discussed, Estonian public broadcaster ERR reports.

Riga International Airport plans to lay off 500 employees

Because of consequences caused by COVID-19, Riga International Airport plans to lay off 500 employees, as BNN was informed by the company.

Poland planning to hold presidential election as postal ballot

The Polish presidential election in May should be held as a postal ballot, the country’s legislators have decided. Opponents of the idea argue that this means putting public health at risk, British-Canadian news agency Reuters reports.

COVID-19 update in Baltics. 548 infected in Latvia, 880 in Lithuania, 1 149 in Estonia

The total number of confirmed coronavirus COVID-19 infection cases in Latvia has reached 548, increasing by six in the past day.

Latvian president urges not to sort idleness benefit recipients based on tax debts

When assessing whether or not a company meets requirements for idleness benefit eligibility, Latvia’s President Egils Levits urges the government to not sort them based on tax debts.

British PM Johnson treated from COVID-19 in intensive care

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been moved to intensive care in London with his COVID-19 symptoms worsening as the outbreak is claiming more lives in the United Kingdom, British news portal The Guardian reports.

Riga City Council snap elections pushed back to 5 September

The ruling coalition in Latvia has agreed to push back Riga City Council snap elections to 5 September, as journalists were told by politicians after a meeting of ruling parties on Monday, 6 April.

US death toll of COVID-19 nears 11 000

The US, which is the country with the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 infections, has on Tuesday, April 7, reached a total number of COVID-19-related deaths of 10 986, according to the US John Hopkins University and German public broadcaster DW.

Prime Minister says Latvia will neither enhance nor relieve restrictions

We do not plan to enhance restrictive measures, but neither do we plan to relieve restrictions – the storm is not over. Nevertheless, we are on the correct path, said Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

Spanish coronavirus death toll drops for fourth day in a row

In Spain, for the fourth day a row, the number of COVID-19 related deaths per day has decreased as the country has the most confirmed cases in infection in Europa, BBC reports.


Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!