Saeima supports bill terminating Latvian-Norwegian agreement on mutual protection and promotion of investment

  • 2023-01-31
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Saeima today adopted in the final reading a Latvian-Norwegian intergovernmental agreement terminating the Latvian-Norwegian agreement on the mutual promotion and protection of investment.

Less than two weeks ago, Saeima postponed termination of the agreement, saying that it was not in the interest of Latvian businesses.

Saeima today also supported a proposal by MP Armands Krauze (Greens/Farmers), which stipulated that the bill adopted today would not affect the ongoing legal proceedings initiated on the basis of the Latvian-Norwegian agreement on the mutual promotion and protection of investment.

The bill will come into force on February 10 or later next month.

During the Saeima debate two weeks ago, Krauze claimed that review of the bill had to be put off due to the ongoing so-called snow crab case. As reported, a Latvian crab trawler, the Senator, which belongs to North Start LTD, was arrested on January 16, 2017, for fishing snow crab in Norwegian waters around the Svalbard (Spitzbergen) archipelago. The Norwegians insist that the Latvian vessel had been fishing there illegally while Latvia maintains the fishermen had been acting in compliance with international agreements and an EU regulation about the fishing rights in Svalbard.

On the other hand, Saeima Foreign Affairs Committee's Chairman Rihards Kols (National Alliance) said that the bill had "absolutely nothing to do with catch quotas". The government supported the draft bill in the summer of 2022 without any objections from ministries, and the matter had also been extensively discussed at Saeima Foreign Affairs Committee, he reminded.

North Star LTD previously called on the Saeima not to support the law terminating of Latvian-Norwegian agreement on mutual promotion and protection of investment, as the company's owner Peteris Pildegovics told LETA.

He said that the company had appealed to all Saeima groups, urging them to prioritize national interests and defend local companies, giving North Star LTD the opportunity to seek justice at international courts of arbitration.