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Avotiņš, Viktors

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2 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Neatkarīgā - Latvia | 21/07/2009

Letter to Obama raises questions

For the daily Neatkarīgā Rīta Avīze the letter sent to US President Barack Obama by former Central and Eastern European leaders raises questions: "Latvia and other European states formerly in the Soviet sphere of influence ... have been in the EU and Nato for five years now. Officially ... assurances have been given time and again that we are now secure, that we now belong to the common EU area, which requires a common foreign policy. But the letter implies that part of this EU nevertheless requires a different foreign policy to the EU as a whole. Why? Why is it not enough to regulate [Russia's] relations with the EU and Nato in Brussels? Is this unsatisfactory? And if so, in what sense? If the former leaders have the impression that the EU and Nato do not provide sufficient security guarantees, why do they not address themselves directly to the EU and the North-Atlantic alliance? And if there are concerns about possible inadequacies of the EU and Nato, why has the letter not been signed by any politician from 'old' Europe?"

Neatkarīgā - Latvia | 28/12/2005

Commission on the Damage caused by Soviet Occupation

The Latvian government has set up a commission with the task of putting an estimate on the total amount of damages caused by the Soviet occupation. It will compile a databank on cases of political persecution, damages to persons owing to expropriation and forced labour, and calculate the total amount of the country's economic losses. After all, before the war Latvia was richer than Finland, for example. Up to now, however, the only figures the commission has presented pertain to the cost of its own work, comments Viktors Avotins sardonically. "It would be nice to know from the start whether this commission is simply one of the foreign ministry's toys aimed at upsetting Russia, or whether it can guarantee that claims for damages will be satisfied. The rhetoric used by the parliament when it set up the commission seems to indicate that it could be a meaningless task. Not because it would entail demanding something from Russia, but because nobody can really imagine a political scenario which would make the repayment of such claims possible."

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