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Bye, bye Pabriks! Defense minister to bow out of govenrment

Jan 15, 2014
From wire reports, RIGA

Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks, who will not retain his post in the new government, wishes his likely successor Raimonds Vejonis (Latvian Green Party) to find friends within NATO structures.

Pabriks also confirmed that he is planning on running in the upcoming European Parliament elections, reports LETA.

The outgoing defense minister refrained from commenting Vejonis' candidacy, saying that this must be done by the public, international partners and the armed forces.

If he is confirmed, Pabriks will request Vejonis to continue moving forward with some of the priorities that have been initiated, like, for example, the opening of the NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence in Latvia, updating equipment of the infantry brigade, as well as securing Latvian airspace.

''Knowing from which party he comes from, I do not know if he will be successful in achieving this, but the main thing is to continue fighting for a larger defense budget, as this is in the interest of the state and our allies,'' Pabriks emphasized.

Latvia's Green Party, having received an offer from Unity to man the Defense Ministry in the next government, replied in the affirmative yesterday, and have selected Raimonds Vejonis as minister.

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