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Latvija in brief

  • 2014-04-02

Maris Baldonieks, general manager of the Latvian national men’s ice hockey team, told LETA News Agency that the living legend, defender Sandis Ozolins (41), won’t be part of the team for the upcoming World Championship in Belarus.“Ozolins will not play in the championship, but you should ask him personally,” said Baldonieks. His name is already on the preliminary roster. Ozolins just enjoyed a good season with Riga Dinamo, where he was team captain. His contract expires April 30. Ozo called it quits with the national team after the Torino Winter Olympics, then made a surprise return. He was a key factor in the team reaching the quarterfinals at the Sochi Games.

Last week, Saeima confirmed MP Romans Naudins (All for Latvia!-For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK) as the new environmental protection and regional development minister, reported LETA.Until now, Naudins served as the Environmental Protection and Regional Development Ministry’’s parliamentary secretary. The politician previously stated that his main priorities as minister will be cooperation with local governments, as well as promoting business activities in the regions. VL-TB/LNNK decided last week to put forward Naudins for the vacant environmental protection and regional development minister post. Einars Cilinskis, who was forced to step down earlier this month, could, in turn, become the ministry’s parliamentary secretary. LETA previously reported that Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma (Unity) called for the resignation of Cilinskis earlier this month, after he had confirmed to her personally that he did not intend to adhere to the government decision and would participate in March 16 events by the Freedom Monument.

Ruta Muktupavela has been appointed rector of the Latvian Academy of Culture. Her program defined four main concepts for the academy’s development – sustainability, identity, integrity and collegiality. Presenting her program, Muktupavela also indicated the importance of the development of cooperation with other universities and colleges, working in sync with the labor market dynamics, cooperation with art patrons, and opportunities for drawing extra funding from Latvian and foreign institutions.