Several political parties might back memorandum against cooperation with ”pro-Kremlin parties”

Several political parties in Latvia do not rule out support for New Unity’s proposal to sign a memorandum containing a pledge not to cooperate with “the pro-Kremlin parties”.

The Latvian Association of Regions (LRA), however, has already said it would not sign the memorandum. Several other parties and political blocs are still going to decide on the proposal.

Gaidis Berzins, deputy chairman of the National Alliance, told LETA that the party has always said it would never partner up with pro-Kremlin groups. Although New Unity’s proposal might seem somewhat populistic, the National Alliance is likely to join the memorandum if its aim is to outline the composition of Latvia’s next government coalition without Harmony.

Meanwhile, the LRA assembly of representatives has decided against signing the memorandum as the party regards the proposed document as too general and failing to draw the red line for cooperation with Harmony, LRA representatives told LETA. “LRA clearly states that after the Saeima elections it will not cooperate with parties like Harmony and Latvia’s Russian Union, as well as other political groups with pro-Kremlin or pro-Russia orientation,” LRA said in a statement.

Janis Bordans, chairman of the New Conservative Party, said that his party has responded to New Unity’s initiative and would submit its proposals for the memorandum.

For Development/For! co-chairman Daniels Pavluts told LETA that the proposal will still be evaluated but that he does not find anything new or significant in New Unity’s proposal. Pavluts believes that New Unity is thus trying to raise its profile ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections, but that such “naked pacts” make no real political difference.

Augusts Brigmanis, chairman of the Greens and Farmers faction in Saeima, said that he was not familiar with the content of the proposed memorandum and that he could not comment on it. One the one hand, the Union of Greens and Farmers might sign the document as the commitment not to cooperate with pro-Kremlin parties is consistent with the Union of Greens and Farmers’ position, but on the other hand, one cannot be sure that the initiators of the memorandum will win any representation in Latvia’s next parliament.

The Progressives, meanwhile, are debating the proposed memorandum and will take their decisions at a board meeting on July 3, the party’s leader Roberts Putnis told LETA. Voicing his personal opinion, Putnis said that as far as Latvia’s national security is concerned, it makes no difference whether Latvia’s budget funds are embezzled by Harmony or the Union of Greens and Farmers as “corruption has no nationality”.

As reported, New Unity has invited other political parties in Latvia to sign a memorandum containing an undertaking not to cooperate with “the pro-Kremlin parties”.

New Unity chairman Krisjanis Karins said that ahead of the general elections the bloc was inviting the political forces sharing similar ideas to join a memorandum, declaring support to pro-European, democratic policies based on the rule of law to confirm that Latvia’s current geopolitical course would remain unchanged.

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