Jūrmalā par vienaudža noduršanu aizdomās turētais pusaudzis skolu klātienē šogad neapmeklēs



KNAB vērtēs Saeimas deputātu braucienu uz Ķīnu

Corruption cops to look at Latvian MPs' trip to China

The Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) plans to assess the trip of several Saeima deputies to China. Several members working with China's Parliament are currently in China. Foreign policy experts also pay heightened attention to the visit, Latvian Television reported on January 16.

The head of the visiting group Ainārs Šlesers (Latvia First) has publicly stated that the trip was paid for by the Chinese government. 

"All expenses of the Latvian delegation shall be borne by the Government of China. For Latvian taxpayers, this mission costs EUR 0!" says Šlesers in a post on his Facebook account, in which members of the group of Saeima deputies can be seen posing with representatives of the National People's Congress of China as well as on tours.

Ainārs Šlesers, Ričards Šlesers, Kristaps Krištopans, Ramona Petraviča, and Linda Liepiņa from Latvia First, Viktorija Pleškāne from For Stability! and Aleksandrs Kiršteins and Edmunds Teirumnieks from the National Alliance are in China.

Šlesers said in a WhatsApp correspondence that he would be prepared to answer questions upon his return from China.

Latvian Television meanwhile, found that, contrary to what Šlesers wrote publicly, this is not a official mission, because no application for a mission has been submitted to the Saeima Bureau and therefore has not been approved.

Jānis Grasbergs, who has been delegated by the Saeima Bureau to comment on the deputies' trip to China, pointed out – Ainars Šlesers' request to justify the group's absence from the Saeima meeting will not be possible. Factions will have to write separate requests. And perhaps the National Alliance will not support its party members going to China.

"I certainly do not support such a move and it is likely that our faction will never support it either and that it is also uncoordinated because before that, in principle, the MPs had not asked the rest of the faction whether we agreed with it. Because if you go somewhere on a visit, even if the other party has called for it, you have to ask, and write an unpaid leave application,” explained Grasbergs.

Going to China for Chinese government money comes at a time when the European Union's relationship with China has taken a geopolitical turn, and the European Commission has been talking about mitigating risks in relations with China for some time, as highlighted by Chinese researcher Una Aleksandra Bērziņa-Čerenkova.

The Foreign Ministry noted that Latvia maintains constructive relations with China. The Ministry has not been involved in organizing the specific visit, it is a private initiative that Members are allowed to take.

“It is important that Latvia has suspended participation in the 16 +1 format of China and central and eastern European countries since 2022, which has also been aimed at strengthening economic ties,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs press secretary Diāna Eglīte said.

The public news about the sponsors of the visit has not slipped past KNAB either.

“In response to the public information on the visit of several Saeima deputies to China, the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau will carry out an in-depth assessment of the information in accordance with its competence,” the KNAB said in a statement.

These Saeima deputies will return from their visit to China on January 23.

Seen a mistake?

Select text and press Ctrl+Enter to send a suggested correction to the editor

Select text and press Report a mistake to send a suggested correction to the editor

Related articles


Most important