Latvija in brief - 2009-02-18

  • 2009-02-18
The Riga Regional Court has ordered 40,000 lats (57,000 euro) be paid to the widow of a soldier who died in a parachuting exercise in 2006. The court has awarded 20,000 lats to the widow and 20,000 lats to her son. The court has ordered the Latvian Defense Ministry to pay the widow as the activities were unlawful and all safety measures were not implemented during the exercise, resulting in the soldier's death. On May 15, 2006 two paratroopers of the reactionary forces, Martins Arajs and Normunds Stradins, died during the exercise in Spilve airport. The accident happened as five paratroopers were blown in the direction of the Daugava River.

The Latvian team took home second place in the world ice fishing championships. Latvia was second of 11 teams.  Rita Verza-Grabovska won the highest individual prize among Latvians at fourth place. The world ice fishing championship was held in Poland. The competition was held among 11 teams from Belarus. Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine and the U.S. Latvia won first place two years ago both among teams and individuals. This year the Ukrainian team took first place.

About 5,000 children in Georgia have received new textbooks in aid given by the Baltic states after the Russia-Georgia conflict in August of 2008. Contributions by the Latvian Foreign Ministry, the Estonian Education Ministry, the Lithuanian Alma Adamkiene foundation and other organizations helped to purchase some 30,000 books, reported the Latvian Foreign Ministry. The textbooks will be distributed to 140 school libraries in several Georgian regions near South Ossetia.

Latvian flagship air carrier airBaltic has announced three new routes for the summer of 2009. In addition, other popular routes will increase in frequency. AirBaltic vice-president for corporate communications Janis Vanags said in the summer of 2009 the company was planning to launch three new routes from Riga to Tromso in Norway, Linkoping in Sweden and Palanga in Lithuania. AirBaltic will provide four flights a week to Tromso, six flights to Linkoping and 12 to Palanga. Airbaltic president Bertold Flick pointed out that the airline continues to build its network of air routes in Scandinavia and the Baltic states. In January 2009, airBaltic flew 177,197 passengers, a 17 percent increase year-on-year.