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Usakovs says go out and vote

May 23, 2014
From wire reports, RIGA

Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs (Harmony Center) urges people to vote in the European Parliament (EP) elections in order to prevent additional economic sanctions being levied against Russia, reports LETA.

Newspaper Vesti has printed the published Usakovs appeal to voters, in which he explains the importance of voting in the EP elections, regardless of the fact that many Latvian residents, he believes, feel that the EP is a distant, unimportant and unnecessary institution.

Currently, economic sanctions against Russia are being discussed in Europe and the EP; therefore, it is important to vote in the elections, Usakovs says. It is essential for Latvia that the European Union maintains balanced and pragmatic relations with Russia. If those who favor economic sanctions win the elections, Latvia will face a new crisis.

"The Port of Riga, railroads, food export, tourism, banks - all these fields depend on Latvia's economic relations with Russia," Usakovs says.

He stresses that the EP elections will leave a lasting impact on the capital: "Either the economy continues to develop and the city continues to renovate schools, parks, roads, yards, hospitals and clinics, and to provide social help, or relations with Russia are severed, which will affect the city's budget and a number of social programs."

Therefore, Usakovs urges Latvian citizens to go vote in the EP elections on May 24. "Otherwise, the most important political decision will be made without you. But the consequences will affect all of us," Usakovs stresses.

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