RIGA - Dismantling of the Soviet-era monument in Riga will be started in the coming weeks and it should be completed by November 15, said Riga Mayor Martins Stakis in a press conference today.
The politicians said that the builder for the procedure has been selected in a closed survey. If the Riga City Council's financial and administrative affairs committee meeting makes a positive decision today, an agreement with the builder could be signed tomorrow.
"Due to national security reasons, we selected the builder in a closed survey procedure, but the information was not confidential. It was available on the electronic procurement system," said the Riga mayor.
The mayor said that some of the information about the process cannot be disclosed due to security reasons, but in order to ensure that the society is represented in the dismantling process, transparency organization Delna will be present at all stages.
The dismantling costs are estimated at about EUR 2.1 million.
Speaking about the dismantling method, Riga city executive director Janis Lange told the press that, considering the short deadlines, builders will not be able to demolish it gradually, starting with the top, but will have to topple it as a whole.
The monument has been a subject of controversy for a long time already, and now has been raised again in relation to Russia's war in Ukraine.
The monument was built in the time period between 1979 and 1985 to commemorate the Soviet Army's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, but now it is seen as dedication to the aggressor country - Russia.