Thursday, January 3, 2008

Back into the snakepit

I am back in Riga and realizing that I am in a snakepit... . PM announcements and news from the acting minister of foreign affairs sound like declarations of the servant of the Russian Federation already. Whatever media canal I choose today in Latvia, I find pronouncements of the Ambassador of the Russian Federation and meek ad hoc referances of Latvian politicanos. Mr Victor Kaluzhny is an outgoing ambassador, and still Latvian Foreign Office is meekly accepting the subservient role (with legitimate excuse of their minister being outside the country)....very sad. Instead of playing their sovereign card Latvian ministry of foreign affairs allows to muddle iself into the affair of soon to be deported Russian FSB agent.

Stories about the former PM (Aigars Kalvitis) becoming the benefactor of the Gazprom deal with the Latvia Ltd. are becoming louder. No wonder, because the Russian decisionmakers found that it is easier to strike deals with those in power rather than russophone opposition parties. There are no solid facts published because there is little transparency in those deals however. Therefore, in this situation when assets of the strategic energy sector are sold to the outside - EU company, and when it openly breaches the so called Gazprom clause of the EU common energy policy, it is very important to pay attention to all the legal aspects of such deal.

In order to make the process more transparent Latvian politicians should be bound by law. To show the impartiality of Latvian deciosionmakers their and their family member wealth declarations should be mandatory not only while they are in the office. Such prospective law should stipulate, that whoever is at the helm of Ms Latvia NOW should declare their wealth not only now, but also five years after leaving the office. Without such law independent statehood of the Latvian state is simply unimaginable, but for such law to come into existence MP' s must first pass the mandatory property and income declaration law, and here we must wait until middle of February at least (that is assumption of Mr Leiškalns, the Head of Saeima Budget and Finance Commitee)...

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