Latvija in brief - 2011-10-13

  • 2011-10-12

Riga Technical University (RTU) will mark its 150th anniversary year, said RTU Information Center’s Egita Kancane, reports LETA. The anniversary itself will be celebrated on Oct. 14, 2012, but the entire 2011/2012 academic year will see various scientific, cultural and sports events dedicated to the occasion. At 11 a.m. on Oct. 14, an agreement-signing ceremony between RTU and telecommunication company Lattelecom will get the anniversary under way. The agreement provides for full-scope cooperation between RTU and the company in the training of engineering and telecommunication experts, research and joint projects. The agreement will be signed by RTU Rector Leonids Ribickis and Lattelecom CEO Juris Gulbis. On Oct. 12, RTU faculty and students will participate in a clean-up in theGreat Cemetery (Lielie Kapi), where former RTU rectors, scientists, cultural and social workers are buried, such as Ernsts Nauks, Gustavs Kizerickis, Augusts Liventals, Vilhelms Ostvalds, Fridrihs Canders, Voldemars Fisers, Krisjanis Barons, Krisjanis Valdemars, Fricis Brivzemnieks and others. RTU was established on Oct. 14, 1862 as Riga Polytechnical Institute; it was the first higher education establishment in Latvia.

The sixth annual pumpkin weigh-off competition took place at the Riga Zoo on Oct. 7, with the winning pumpkin weighing in at 155 kilograms, breaking the previous national record, Maxima Latvija representative Ivars Andins said, reports The pumpkin was grown in the southwestern town of Skrunda. The second largest pumpkin weighed 142 kilograms, and the third was 121 kilograms. The total weight of the ten finalists was over a ton. After the winner was determined, the pumpkins were given to the zoo as food for the animals. The competition was organized for the sixth time, in cooperation with Maxima and the long-time zoo friend and muscleman Raimonds Bergmanis. Last year, the winning pumpkin weighed 132 kilograms.

The possible change of presidents in Russia next year, with current President Dmitry Medvedev giving up his post to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, will not lead to any substantial changes in Russia’s attitude towards Latvia, Russian Ambassador to Latvia Alexander Veshnyakov said in an interview in Telegraf, reports LETA. “On the other hand, the new Latvian government’s position is not yet known, and remains an unanswered question,” the ambassador said. Veshnyakov pointed out that the improvement of relations between Latvia and Russia are proven by Russia’s growing investments in Latvia. “If political relations between two countries are normal, business people feel this. Last year’s visit by former Latvian President Valdis Zatlers also had much meaning, becoming a signal for many investors.” The ambassador is also confident that Russia’s image in Latvia has improved, as only some local politicians still see “Moscow’s hand” in the processes taking place in Latvia.