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Tag: Latvia

Elections in the Baltic and Balkans

This weekend the citizens of Latvia and Bosnia and Herzegovina had the chance to influence the direction of their countries.

October 8, 2018 - New Eastern Europe

There is no question – we are able to defend ourselves

An interview with Raimonds Bergmanis, the Latvian minister of defence. Interviewer Linas Jegelevicius

LINAS JEGELEVICIUS: In a recent interview, your Lithuanian counterpart claimed that the situation in which the Baltics face now is “the riskiest and most dangerous since 1990”. Do you agree with this assessment?

RAIMONDS BERGMANIS: It is relative and the context should be taken into account. In the 1990s, our countries were still in the process of recovery and building our new state institutions like the armed forces, intelligence, security forces, etc. Alongside the domestic challenges, we were experiencing Russian pressure as well. We were vulnerable back then and, by no means, were these risk-free times. We were lucky that Russia was also vulnerable. However, it was not until 2004 when we joined NATO that we were able to have a real sense of security.

January 2, 2018 - Linas Jegelevicius Raimonds Bergmanis

Latvia’s Kuš comics turns ten

Kuš, a Riga-based comic publishing house, singlehandedly created the comic arts scene in Latvia, and has since fostered the talents of new generations of young illustrators and artists making surreal, sweet, deeply foreboding, or sometimes just plain confusing collections of images using a wide range of mediums.

December 12, 2017 - Aliide Naylor

The humble pastor

Juris Rubenis, a Lutheran pastor, helped organise some of the largest anti-Soviet demonstrations in the 1980s. He co-wrote the founding documents for the Latvian Popular Front and signed the official document declaring the independence of Latvia from the Soviet Union. Today, he tries to help Latvians overcome the post-Soviet mentality through spirituality and meditation.

October 4, 2017 - Naphtali Rivkin

Latvia – a potential target for Russian economic aggression?

Politically, Latvia is firmly anchored to the West through its membership of the European Union and NATO. Economically, however, the country still remains under significant Russian influence. The Kremlin has several economic instruments at its disposal which could be used to cause significant negative impact on Latvian economy. The key ones would include restricting imports of Latvian goods, banning future and liquidating existing Russian FDIs in Latvia, reducing volumes of Russian freight transit through Latvian ports, halting supplies of natural gas to Latvia, and withdrawing non-resident deposits controlled by Russia-related entities from the Latvian banking system.

August 17, 2017 - Adam Klus

The best birthday in prison

This article originally appeared in "Meanwhile in the Baltics...", a collection of articles written by the graduates of 2016 Solidarity Academy - Baltic Sea Youth Dialogue, organised by the European Solidarity Centre in partnership with the Council of the Baltic Sea States.

May 29, 2017 - Monta Gāgane

Trump, Russia and the new geopolitics of the Baltics

Late Saturday, the President of the United States Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a phone call. The Kremlin gave an official statement mentioning “the fight against terrorism, the situation in the Middle East, the Arab-Israeli conflict, strategic stability and non-proliferation, the situation with Iran’s nuclear programme, and the Korean Peninsula issue,” adding that aspects of the Ukraine crisis had also been discussed. Its tone was typical of official statements from any country.

January 30, 2017 - Aliide Naylor

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