BNN summary of the week: Latvijas gāze. Visas. Price hike – Baltic News Network


Latvian public operator Latvijas gāze JSC failed to meet the requirement in the Energy Law for emergency natural gas reserves, which should have reached 1.15 TWh at the end of August. According to the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the company, Aigars Kalvītis, the volume of gas held by LG in the Inčukalns underground gas storage facility is only 0.3 TWh, indicating that it there is not enough to supply households.

Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš calmed residents by assuring them that the country had enough gas.

Commenting on LG’s claims that there may not be enough gas to last the winter, the Prime Minister pointed out that the company’s name is misleading, calling it Russian Gas instead.

In the meantime, the foreign ministers of the European member states have failed to agree on a general ban on issuing visas to Russian citizens. The reason is that Member States have different opinions on this issue. However, it was decided to abolish the practice of expediting the issuance of visas to Russian citizens. In reality, this means that visa applications will take longer to review and the price will be higher.

September marked not only the start of a new school year, but also changes in the state administration in Latvia. From September 1, the Ministry of Economy and all its subordinate institutions will communicate with customers and the media only in Latvian.

BNN brings you a summary of the most relevant events of the past week under the following headings: Opinion; Visas for Russians; Only in Latvian language; Object on natural interests; Aid to Ukraine; Prices are up; Revenue.


PM: Latvijas gāze is not interested in peace in Latvia and peace of mind in people’s heads

Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš. Photo: Paula Čurkste/LETA

Management and owners of Latvijas gāze JSC (LG) are not interested in peace in Latvia and peace of mind in people’s minds, Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš said in an interview with LTV Rīta panorama.

Commenting on LG’s recent statement that there may not be enough gas in Latvia for the next heating season, the politician said the name Latvijas gāze is misleading – if called correctly, by the structure of its owner would be called Russian Gas.

“Company management and their owners are not interested in peace in Latvia and peace of mind in people’s heads.”

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EU ministers agree to end fast visa procedure for Russian citizens

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Photo: Pexels

Foreign ministers of European Union member states have agreed to end the procedure under which Russian citizens receive visas quickly. It was the response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, as announced by the head of the EU’s foreign service, Josep Borrel.

According to Borrel, the ministers agreed that relations with Moscow cannot return to what they were before, adding that the agreement must be terminated completely.

The termination of this agreement now means that visa applications from Russian citizens will take longer to process and will cost more, added the head of the EU service.

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The Latvian Ministry of Economy will communicate with customers only in Latvian

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Photo: Paula Čurkste/LETA

From September 1, the Latvian Ministry of Economy and institutions under its direct subordination will start providing information and communicating with customers only in the Latvian language.

The order issued by Minister Ilze Indriksone, based on Article 10 of the State Language Law, provides for the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, the Consumer Rights Protection Center, the Latvian National Office of Accreditation, the National Building Control Office of Latvia and the Central Statistical Office of Latvia will start providing information and communicating with customers only in the official language of Latvia – Latvian – from 1 September 2022.

Thus, neither the ministry nor any of its institutions will require more Russian language skills in job offers or allow employees to use the Russian language in their daily work.

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Latvian Government Agrees to Provide Object of National Interest Status to Skulte LNG Terminal

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Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš. Photo: State Chancellery of Latvia

On Tuesday, August 30, the Latvian government agreed to grant status of object of national interest to the Skulte liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš told reporters after the meeting.

At the beginning of June, the government ordered the Ministry of Economy to carry out an in-depth assessment of the LNG terminal projects: Skulte LNG Terminal JSC in Saulkrasti and Kundziņsalas dienvidu projekts LLC in Riga. The ministry had until August 31 to submit reports to the Cabinet of Ministers containing the conclusions of independent consultants regarding the compliance of the two projects with Latvia’s national and economic interests.

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Latvia provides about 300 million euros in military aid to Ukraine

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Photo: Unsplash

Since February 24, the total military support that the Latvian government has provided to Ukraine in its fight against Russia has reached almost 300 million euros. Latvian residents, businesses and NGOs collected donations worth more than 15.7 million euros, as reported by the Defense Ministry.

“This war will be long. The assistance provided by our country and by other countries is one of the conditions for the survival and independence of Ukraine. Latvia is a leader in support and an example for other countries in Europe and the rest of the world,” Defense Minister Artis Pabriks stressed.

Latvian military aid provided to Ukraine includes weapons, individual equipment, MREs, ammunition, anti-tank weapons, Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, drones, howitzers, helicopters, fuel and other goods.

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Latvia increases the tariffs for the heating energy produced; prices in Riga will be strongly affected

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Photo: Unsplash

The Latvian Public Utilities Commission (SPRK) has approved new heating energy tariffs for Latvenergo JSC TEC-1 and TEC-2. The tariffs will be significantly higher than the existing tariffs and will affect the tariffs used by Rīgas siltums JSC.

As reported by SPRK, 88% of heating energy tariff costs come from natural gas and since natural gas costs are variable, Latvenergo was asked to establish an order of use of TEC-1 tariffs and TEC-2 under which tariffs are set according to the different natural gases. prices.

In the decision approved by the SPRK, the natural gas tariffs are set at a range between 10 and 225 EUR/MWh without VAT.

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Average salary after tax in Latvia – 997 EUR

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Photo: Unsplash

In the second quarter of 2022, the average gross wages and salaries for full-time work in the country amounted to EUR 1,362.

Compared to Q2 2021, average monthly revenue increased by EUR 105 or 8.3%. The hourly wage before tax increased to EUR 9.20 or 5.6%.

Compared to the first quarter, in the second quarter of 2022, average monthly gross wages and salaries increased by 5.0% and hourly earnings by 5.5%, according to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics of Latvia.

Average net wages and salaries, which were calculated on the basis of labor taxes applicable at the workplace, amounted to EUR 997 or 73.2% of gross earnings.

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