BNN Summary of the Week: The teachers’ strike is over. Energy resources. War in Ukraine – Baltic News Network

Last week, the Minister of Education and Science, the Prime Minister and the ruling coalition parties met with the board of the Latvian Union of Education and Science Workers (LIZDA) with the aim of finding a compromise for union demands. A compromise was finally found regarding the improvement of the general working conditions of teachers and the strike is officially over.

The Constitutional Protection Office (SAB) has started publishing a series of analytical articles on various popular topics. The objective is to provide the information space with reliable information to help the inhabitants better understand the processes in progress and to be able to predict their evolution. The first article is dedicated to the Russian-Ukrainian war which, according to SAB, will probably last until the spring of next year. The article also details some consequences of this war for Latvia.

At the beginning of September, information was reported that Latvijas gāze JSC was unable to obtain the necessary volume of natural gas for the winter season, as required by the Energy Law – 1.15 TWh. Now the attorney general’s office will investigate the liability of the company.

Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš has admitted that the planned support for households will not be enough due to the rising prices of energy resources. As a result, the government will likely have to borrow money to afford support measures.

BNN gives you a summary of the most relevant events of the past week under the following headings: On strike; At least until spring; Responsibility investigation; No free money; emergency response; Darker and colder; appropriate vaccines; Ukraine.

AT LEAST UNTIL SPRING

SAB: War in Ukraine will continue at least until spring

Photo: Flickr

If the situation continues to evolve, we can expect the war to continue with varying intensity until spring of next year, as reported by the Latvian Constitutional Protection Bureau (SAB).

On Tuesday, September 13, SAB began publishing a series of analytical articles on different important topics. The first article is devoted to the Russian-Ukrainian war and its consequences for Latvia.

If the current situation continues to evolve, there is a good chance that the war will continue with varying intensity at least until the spring of next year. Under current conditions, the Russian Armed Forces lack the troops and combat capabilities to defeat the resistance in Ukraine, which is further aggravated by attacks by the Ukrainian Armed Forces on Russian logistical infrastructure, SAB reports.

Signals from Russian foreign policy indicate that the country is not interested in ending the conflict.

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LIABILITY INVESTIGATION

Authorities to investigate Latvijas gāze’s decisions to create gas reserves

Aigars Kalvitis, Conexus, natural gas, Energy Law, attorney general, Latvijas gaze, public trader, Latvia
Aigars Kalvitis. Photo: Edijs Palens/LETA

The Prosecutor General’s Office of Latvia has opened an investigation into the situation of gas reserves for the 2022/2023 heating season, in particular the responsibility of Latvijas Gāze JSC and the compliance of the public trader’s decisions with the Energy Law , as LETA was informed by the office.

At the same time, the office continues to assess the information provided in various reports. Some decisions regarding the possible initiation of criminal proceedings will be forwarded to the State Security Service and others to the Office for the Prevention of Laundering of Proceeds Derived from Criminal Activities.

As of September 1, the gas storage volume held by Latvijas gāze in Inčukalns was 0.2946 TWh, according to the company’s report to Nasdaq Riga.

This basically means that the company does not have enough gas volume to supply Latvian households with natural gas during this heating season. In addition, the company thus acknowledged that it had not complied with the requirement written into the energy law, according to which the company was supposed to accumulate 1.15 TWh by the end of August.

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NO FREE MONEY

Latvian PM admits country will have to borrow money to support residents during energy crisis

heating season, energy, energy crisis, finance, Krisjanis Karins, debt, fall, state support
Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš. Photo: Zane Bitere/LETA

The Latvian government will probably have to borrow funds in order to offer support activities to residents to overcome the energy crisis, Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš said in his interview with LTV program Rīta panorāma on Wednesday September 14.

The politician pointed out that the government had already approved a large package of support measures. However, this may not be enough and some form of price cap may be set. Beyond this cap, residents’ payments for energy resources will not increase. Instead, the additional costs will be covered by the state budget.

According to the Prime Minister, the government is awaiting estimates from the Ministry of Economy in order to implement the caps appropriately.

According to Kariņš, while funding for support measures is taken from the budget surplus, funding for broader support will have to be borrowed.

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EMERGENCY RESPONSE

European Commission proposes emergency intervention in energy markets

EC, electricity, energy market, intervention, austerity measures
Photo: Unsplash

The European Commission (EC) has proposed an emergency intervention in European energy markets to resolve the price spike, as mentioned in the EC announcement published on Wednesday September 14.

The European Union has had to deal with the consequences of the imbalance between energy supply and demand, which is said to be the result of Russia’s use of its energy resources as a weapon.

To reduce the growing pressure this is creating on European households and businesses, the EC is proposing emergency measures to reduce demand for electricity. It is also intended to help consumers reduce their costs, as confirmed by the commission.

The first step to solving the problem of high prices is to reduce demand, which could affect electricity prices and calm the market in general.

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DARKER AND COOLER

Riga to adopt energy austerity measures

electricity, energy resources, energy crisis, street lighting, Martins Stakis, Riga City Council, autumn, austerity
Photo: Pexels

By adopting energy austerity measures, Riga City Council hopes to reduce energy consumption by 15% and save up to 10 million euros, Riga Mayor Mārtiņš Staķis told a press conference Thursday, September 15.

Representatives of the Riga Energy Agency and Rīgas gaisma reported that energy austerity measures include setting the indoor air temperature to +20.5°C in municipal institutions and schools. At night, the air temperature should be reduced by four degrees.

Schools will be subject to an additional regime. After teaching is complete, the indoor air temperature should be reduced by a few degrees. At night, the indoor air temperature in schools must be reduced by the aforementioned four degrees.

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ADAPTED VACCINES

Appropriate vaccines against Covid-19 become available in Latvia

booster injection, Covid-19 vaccination, general practitioners, Moderna, Pfizer, adapted vaccine, vaccination, vaccination rooms, Latvia
Photo: Unsplash

Since Monday, September 12, suitable Covid-19 vaccines have been available from general practitioners and vaccination rooms in Latvia, as reported by the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (SPKC).

According to the SPKC, these vaccines are approved for use throughout the European Union. The next shipment of suitable vaccines is also expected to arrive in Latvia next week. To register for an injection with an appropriate vaccine, residents must contact their general practitioner or their vaccination room. It is also possible to register on Manavakcina.lv.

Covid-19 vaccination is recommended for all residents.

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UKRAINE

440 tombs discovered in liberated Izium

Ukraine, Russia, invasion, Kharkiv Oblast, Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Volodymyr Zelensky, military force, troops, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vladimir Putin, Izium, mass grave
Photo: AP/Scanpix

Ukrainian authorities discovered on Thursday, September 15 in the eastern town of Izium a mass burial site of more than 440 bodies, which was retaken from Russian forces, informs the British media The Guardian.

Serhiy Bolvinov, the chief investigator of the Kharkiv region police, said some people were killed by shelling and airstrikes.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy compared the discovery to what happened in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, saying in a video address on Thursday, September 15:

“Russia is leaving death behind everywhere and must be held responsible for it.”

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