Even narrow-minded Latvians have realised that the European Union and other Western countries robbed Latvia and its residents, having treated them like natives, taking for themselves all the able-bodied workers and “glass beads” by eliminating competitive industries, including sugar and fishing. And now Latvia is being pushed to break its unified with Russia and Belarus energy system and to join the expensive North-Western one. The same is true of gas – the entire Baltic region is forced to buy liquefied American gas instead of much cheaper natural Russian gas.
Concerning the “native” colonial present of Latvia, the correspondents of the Federal News Agency spoke with the Latvian political scientist Einars Graudins, who graduated from the Yaroslavl Higher Military Finance School.
Latvia literally became deserted
“In order to present the whole picture, it is necessary to begin with the fact that the so-called expansion of the European Union by the so-called old states was initially based on certain, purely pragmatic, purely mercantile interests, which is perfectly logical and normal,” said the interlocutor of the Federal News Agency. “It’s just that someone in this game had to be a fool”.
The political scientist pointed out that in this role after joining the EU were not only Latvia, but also other Baltic republics and countries of Eastern Europe, except perhaps only Poland. As an example, Graudins cited a picture that we observed through the windows of the former tourist hotel “Latviya”, which is located on the central street of Brivibas diagonally from the building of the Cabinet of Ministers of Latvia.
“Today is a working day, 10:30 am. How many people walk around here?” He asked rhetorically. “They are not actually present. There are actually no cars. Because in all these years, since independence, the country has lost about one million people. These [losses] have increased very much since joining the European Union since May 1st 2004. Today, about 1.5 million people actually live in Latvia. I.e., we have lost virtually a third, if not more, of the population of the country. The figures that are officially given by the Latvian State Statistics Office are approximately 1.9 million people. But not only I, but also the leading specialists of the Latvian State University, who are involved in the problem of demography, unequivocally say that there are only 1.5 million people left in our country.
This is said, among other things, by the most famous economists-practitioners, doctors of sciences, for example, such as Ilya Gerchikov, who has so far retained one of the leading enterprises of our country, the well-known ‘Dzintars’ (perfumery and cosmetic factory, whose products were in great demand in the USSR, and is still trying to resist Western giants and the mindless economic policy of its own Republic). So we have more losses in demographic terms than Latvia lost in two world wars”.
“In this regard, the future prospects of our country are very vague, and this year the economists of even commercial banks started to say that the development of the economy is alarming,” said Einars Graudins.
“Of course, it is alarming. Independent experts have been talking about this for decades, because there is actually no real sector of industrial production in Latvia, because all that we received free of charge from the Soviet Union was successfully stolen, privatised, resold, and squandered”.
The West leaves Latvia with nothing
In addition, now most agricultural land (and agriculture in Latvia has historically been a very strong and serious branch of the national economy), like many forest areas, belongs to foreign legal entities and individuals. In addition, Latvia has no monetary policy or national currency, said the interlocutor of the Federal News Agency.
“Monetary policy is determined in Frankfurt, not in Riga,” said Graudins, “and now let’s put it all together. We have no population, there isn’t anyone who can simultaneously produce something and consume something, i.e., buyers. We do not have our own currency, i.e., we cannot vary exchange rates, etc., and we do not have our land and forests. The question is, what do we have? Nothing. That is the outcome of joining the European Union”.
Although, as the interlocutor notes, Latvia could’ve joined the EU and at the same time got a completely different result. A classic example is Poland: if you go from Berlin to Warsaw on a new highway almost 500km long, on both sides you will see only production workshops where almost all global producers are concentrated. Poland kept its zloty. And the government is also analysing how any EU legislation, directives, and regulations will affect the economy before implementing them. There is no such thing in Latvia.
NATO’s striking fist instead of transit and sovereignty
In the 1990s, after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Latvia tried to somehow remind the world that the republic is the binding bridge between the East and an West because it has a large Riga port and ice-free port of Ventspils, through which in Soviet times there was the biggest export of oil products. This system functioned quite well, Latvia lived due to transit for many years before joining the EU and NATO, and lived from exporting banking services, which were not always transparent, but had enough volume for a small country, reminds Einars Graudins.
“After accession to NATO the situation changed because NATO started to create a striking fist, of course, aimed against Russia, it is clear to a fool,” continues the interlocutor. “Russia began to accept adequate responses. These responses followed through an economic impact. Today transit is sharply falling, goods turnover through the Latvian ports is falling. Respectively, the volume of cargo transportation by the Latvian railroad automatically falls by 15%, and it’s only a matter of time until Latvian ports and railroad will not be able anymore to have means for maintenance of their infrastructure from the point of view of economy from their activities.
It is only necessary to leave two companies in Latvia – ‘UralKhim’ (one of the largest companies in the market of mineral fertilisers in Russia, the CIS, and Eastern Europe) and ‘Uralkali’ (one more Russian company, one of the world’s largest potash fertiliser producers), which in terms of money turnover are the biggest companies in our country, as this will cause a domino effect at the port of Riga and Ventspils and at the Latvian railroads and other enterprises that service this logistics chain”.
The money of the residents of the CIS countries – first and foremost Russia – also left Latvia with the closure of commercial banks. This is more than 10 billion euros within a year! What is 10 billion for Latvia? This is slightly less than the country’s external debt. These are catastrophic figures, concludes Einars Graudins.
“Latvia lost everything with the opening of borders, with the free movement of goods, capital, and people,” said the expert. “Even historically famous retail brands that have been in Latvia for decades today belong to some companies in Denmark, etc. We’ve lost even that. I mean the sugar industry. The sugar factories themselves are bulldozed, flat land remained. All of this leads to serious reflections about the independence and sovereignty of our State.
You can, of course, joke that we are very independent because nothing depends on us, but in fact it is laughter through tears. Because if we look at the criteria of international law that determine the sovereignty of an independent state, it turns out that we do not have that sovereignty. If we see what constitutes the foundation of the state, it is territory and population or the nation that lives on this territory, then from this nation we have a third dotted around the world, and our agricultural and forest land is overwhelmingly owned by foreign legal entities and individuals”.
In Latvia, even the cabinet cannot be established without the consent of the State Department
One of the correspondents of the Federal News Agency asked if Latvia has any strategy regarding Russia, or does Latvia simply follows instructions given from outside.
“Latvia’s national legislation descends 80% from above, from Brussels,” says Graudins, “and Latvia’s parliament, as a voting machine, repeats all this. We do not create, do not produce national legislation. All our foreign and military policy is determined by one country, more precisely one organisation, which is called the US State Department. And without the consent of the State Department, no one here will take even the slightest movement along the line of defence policy or foreign policy. It’s not even being considered. Without the personal approval of the State Department or the US Ambassador to Latvia, no Cabinet of Ministers can be established and no President can be appointed. Everyone can draw their own conclusions”.
In Latvia there is no concept of real development of the state taking into account the rapidly changing situation in the world. The country’s budget is not its own, it is, to put it mildly, consistent with the Association of Commercial Banks of Latvia, where Nordic banks play a decisive role. Because the entire banking sector again belongs to Nordic and American friends and partners.
Karen Margaryan, Igor Petrashevich
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