: Baltic Course: Partners of Latvian ports include people closely tied to Russia's political elite

10:54 May. 3, 2016

Baltic Course: Partners of Latvian ports include people closely tied to Russia's political elite

A general view of the ice free port of Ventspils, Latvia, Oct. 29, 2002 (AP Photo)

Russian companies continue to invest in Latvian transit industry

The fact that the cooperation partners of Latvian ports include business people closely tied to Russia's political elite may have adverse effects on the Latvian national economic security interests, the Latvian Security Police said, cites LETA.

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If Russia's elite decided to divert cargos to other ports, business representatives loyal to it most probably would follow the instructions, the Security Police said.

Regardless of tensions in political relations and public statements about diverting cargos to Russian ports, no major fluctuations in total cargo turnover at Latvian ports were observed during the reporting period, the Security Police said in the public section of its annual report for 2015.

Moreover, Russian companies continued investing in the Latvian transit industry last year which signals their willingness to keep using Latvian ports in the future.

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But changes in the top management of the Latvian state-owned railway company and Latvijas Dzelzcels and Russian Railways, the Russian national railway company, in the second half of 2015 gave rise to concerns about a decline in rail freight in 2016.

The amount of freight reloaded at Latvian ports in the first months of this year confirms those concerns.

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