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Riga gears up for China summit

Final preparations were being made Thursday ahead of the arrival of national leaders to participate in the '16+1' summit meeting between China and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. 

A range of traffic and travel restrictions are being put in place around the venues for the discussions, the gala dinners and the well-appointed hotel rooms of the participants with the National Library off bounds for two days.

Added to a good amount of snowfall with more sleet and snow to come, Rigans can expect to suffer some travel inconvenience over November 3, 4 and 5.

On Friday Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis will hold a series of meetings with the visiting leaders from Eastern Europe in the morning, then have a meeting with Chinese premier Li Keqiang in the afternoon to be topped off with what are described as "the signing of various cooperation documents."

There will be no press conference after the meeting however, and in general any information emanating from the summit is likely to be tightly controlled.

There is a closing press conference at the end of the summit on Saturday, after a meeting that will last just two hours.

There will however be numerous photo opportunities.

One of the scheduled events among all the smiles and handshakes will be the arrival of a cargo train from China on November 5. It set out from Yiwu right on the China Sea on October 20. 

Latvian Railways released a video clip Thursday of what it will look like - provided all goes well and it avoids bandidos between now and Saturday.

The train is intended as a test to demonstrate the feasibility of rail cargo via Riga. 

You can read the official website of the summit meeting and the parallel business forum HERE.

In addition, the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has prepared a handy web page giving details of how to follow the events online which you can see HERE.

LSM will also be 'liveblogging' the Saturday summit from the venue.

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