Posts published in Day: May 30, 2019

The way NATO controls the armed forces of the Baltics

By Lukas Ramonas on Thursday, May 30, 2019

In accordance with mass media resources, the headquarters of the international division “North” (HQ MND N) has begun to work lately at the Ādaži military base near Riga (Latvia). This divisional HQ includes combat units of Latvia, Denmark and Estonia. The need to create a new unit was first talked about at the NATO summit in Brussels last July. It is assumed that the Riga headquarters will facilitate the coordination…

Baltic countries can collapse like the USSR

By Vairis Godmanis on Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Baltic countries are intensively increasing their military power. This is evidenced by information from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). At the end of 2018 Lithuania and Latvia were in the top ten countries in the world which demonstrate the highest rates of defence spending. “The rise in defence spending in Central and Eastern Europe is largely due to the growing perception of the threat from Russia,” said…

Riigikogu backs extension of military surveillance capabilities

Thursday, May 30, 2019

With 53 to 31 votes, the Riigikogu adopted the amended Defence Forces Organisation Act once again on Wednesday. President Kersti Kaljulaid refused to promulgate the new law in its current form in March this year, questioning the bill’s constitutionality and saying that the military’s extended surveillance powers violate the fundamental rights of citizens. The bill of amendments to the act would grant the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) the right to…

Huawei in U.S. courts challenging Washington’s sanctions against it

Thursday, May 30, 2019

As Washington has effectively prohibited American firms to sell its technology to Huawei without government approval, the Chinese company has filed lawsuits in the U.S. challenging what it sees as selective punishment against the firm. American news agency AP reports that Huawei filed a motion in U.S. court on Wednesday, May 29, challenging the constitutionality of a law that limits its sales of telecom equipment. It has also launched its…

Saeima approves Levits as new Latvian president

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Saeima today voted in European Court of Justice Judge Egils Levits as the new president of Latvia. 61 MPs voted for Levits, who was the candidate of the ruling coalition. Meanwhile, the other candidates running for president, Ombudsman Juris Jansons and MP Didzis Smits, received eight and 24 votes respectively. Levits has graduated from the University of Hamburg. In the 1990s he served as the Latvian ambassador to Germany, Switzerland,…

Ukraine eying new IMF aid programme following snap parliamentary election

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Ukraine has reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund on the preparation of a new aid programme to be finalised following Ukraine’s parliamentary election due in July. Reuters news agency reports that according to top presidential official Oleksandr Danylyuk, representatives of the IMF and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy met for the first time on Tuesday, May 28. «We agreed we will actively cooperate with the IMF and other international…

Sociologist: Egils Levits’ international experience will help outline Latvia’s future

By Aigars Freimanis on Thursday, May 30, 2019

The international experience of Latvia’s newly-elected president Egils Levits will help outline the country’s future, says sociologist Aigars Freimanis. He says from the very beginning Levits has proved himself as a competent and talented presidential candidate. Even in debates Levits was more successful than other candidates, Freimanis says. However, no matter how much Levits knows about the Constitution and legislative affairs, his lack of experience means he «floats» in internal…

Tragic boat collision in Budapest takes tourist lives

Thursday, May 30, 2019

In the Hungarian capital Budapest, a riverboat used for tourism turned over with 34 people on board, taking the lives of at least seven people. Hungarian news portal Daily News Hungary reports that the accident took place late on Wednesday, May 30, when the boat called Hableány (in English: ‘Mermaid’) went under water after being hit by another tourist vessel. At the time of the collision, the boat was moored…

Relations with Russia must primarily be formed in context with EU foreign policy – Levits

Thursday, May 30, 2019

In an interview on Latvian Television this morning, President-elect Egils Levits said that Latvia must form good relations with Russia, but that these relations must primarily be formed in context with EU foreign policy. He said that good relations must always be formed with neighbors, but added that this is a two-way street. ”Our side has this good will, we have always had and always will have,” Levits said. However,…

Lithuanian President Grybauskaite to deliver her State of Nation Address on June 11

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Lithuania’s outgoing President Dalia Grybauskaite will deliver her 10th and last State of the Nation Address to the parliament on June 11, her spokeswoman Daiva Ulbinaite told BNS Lithuania on Tuesday. Under the Constitution, the president has the duty to deliver her annual address to the parliament on the situation in Lithuania, its internal and foreign policies. During her State of the Nation Address last year, Grybauskaite voiced her support…