Latvija in brief - 2012-03-22

  • 2012-03-21

The British Ambassador to Latvia Andrew Soper visited the ‘Saratov’ ship memorial at Liepaja port on March 15, thus symbolically reminding of the historical cooperation between Latvia and Great Britain since Latvian first gained independence, reports LETA. In 1919, the interim Latvian government sought refuge on the ‘Saratov,’ with allies, including Great Britain, supporting the Latvian government. This was Soper’s first visit to Liepaja since becoming Ambassador to Latvia. During a meeting with Liepaja Mayor Uldis Sesks (Liepaja Party) and Deputy Mayor Gunars Ansins (Liepaja Party), the two sides discussed various development projects at the port, as well as cooperation between Latvian and British companies.

The Riga Regional Court on March 15 handed down suspended sentences and community service to three skinheads for desecrating the New Jewish Cemetery in December 2010, reports LETA. Vitalijs Titovs (born in 1991) received an eight-month suspended sentence and probation. He will not be able to change his place of residence without receiving the State Probation Service’s permission. Pavels Voitovs (born in 1994) was given a one-year suspended sentence and probation. He will also have to seek permission from the State Probation Service to change his place of residence if needed. Meanwhile, Rets Svedovs (born in 1995) was sentenced to 40 hours of community service.  However, he has already spent several days in custody and thus will have to serve only 24 hours of community service. Voitovs and his parents will also have to pay 3,000 lats (4,285 euros) in damages. The verdict may be appealed to the Supreme Court’s Chamber of Criminal Cases within 10 days.  The full verdict will be available on March 30. On the night of Dec. 8, 2010 in Riga, at the New Jewish Cemetery at Lizuma Street 4, several vandals desecrated 89 tombstones by painting white swastikas on them.

Italians are interested in wider cooperation with the city of Liepaja and see more than just business opportunities in the city, Italian Ambassador to Latvia Giovanni Polizzi said during his March 16 visit to Liepaja, reports LETA. Both sides could cooperate in student exchange, various bilateral cultural projects, and procurement support to Liepaja Regional Hospital, pointed out Polizzi during a meeting with Liepaja City Council Chairman Uldis Sesks and his deputy, Gunars Asnins. The IT company Baltik IT has prepared excellent grounds for cooperation with Liepaja. The company belongs to Italian businessmen and provides 90 jobs in Liepaja. Its employees prepare and send electronic documents to a wide range of clients in Italy, explained Polizzi. The ambassador emphasized that business is not the only area where Latvia and Italy can cooperate. Baltik IT Italian language courses provide all opportunities for different directions for cooperation.