Baltic Timeline

  • 2002-08-22
Ten years ago

Heavy debts force Latvian power utility Latvenergo to cut hot water service to Riga residents, leaving them with only cold water during the working week. The government says only continued financial aid from the Bank of Latvia or the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will allow energy suppliers to acquire resources and pay for new infrastructure.

Leaders in Estonia and Lithuania slam former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev for what they call "imperialistic" statements he made to a Finnish newspaper. Gorbachev called the presence of the Russian army in the Baltic states "a stabilizing factor" that discourages discrimination against non-ethnic Balts.

Latvia's government and the central bank are at odds over setting an official exchange rate between the Latvian and Russian rubles. Neither can agree on an economic stabilization program or an exchange rate that would prepare the country for eventual introduction of the Latvian lat.

Five years ago

Australia's immigration minister rules out deportation of suspected Latvian Nazi Konrads Kalejs, 83, now a citizen and resident of Australia.

Vilnius prepares to welcome heads of state from 12 countries, including Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, at a conference to promote good neighborly relations. Participants will include the presidents of the three Baltic states, Poland, Finland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Ukraine as well as Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin.

Self-declared king of pop Michael Jackson thunders into Tallinn, attracting more than 60,000 fans to his extravaganza concert/special effects show. Hundreds of fans came from surrounding countries, including Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Poland, jamming border checkpoints around the country. About a dozen young girls fainted in front of the stage.