Man with ties to Russian military buys building near Rīga Airport

Take note – story published 5 years and 6 months ago

In late 2017, a man with ties to the Russian military bought a building on Mūkpurva Street near the Rīga International Airport, reported LTV's De Facto December 2.

The building, which previously housed the Brazīlija volleyball center, belonged to the Inchcape company specializing in selling BMW vehicles.

But last year Dmitry Kholomkin, a Russian citizen with a residence permit in Latvia, bought it via a company registered here.

As De Facto notes, Kholomkin is the head of Russia's AKNIIPO, or the Aerospace Scientific Research Test and Manufacturing company. It produces radio-electronic devices, including for military needs. 

AKNIIPO was established by subsidiaries of the state-owned Rosteh. 

While there is no information as to the specific activities of Kholomkin's company, Latvian experts say it could have access both to espionage technologies, like systems for intercepting signals from radars, as well as false-signal generators and systems to disrupt navigation.

Juris Ķiploks, the head of Rīga Technical University's defense tech center, told LTV that other important objects are nearby, including the headquarters of the Latvian postal service and the US Embassy, as well as other companies with ties to the military complex.

While LTV was unable to contact Kholomkin, his business partner in Latvia did not reply to the show's questions. 

The building on Mūkpurva street is not his only property in Latvia. He owns an apartment in Jūrmala and a retail store in Kauguri. He was not to be found on any of those properties.

Airport reps say the building lies outside protected territory, while the Defense Ministry does not, currently, see risks in the purchase. The Constitution Protection Bureau said it does not comment cases like this, but the Security Police, Latvia's interior police force, replied in writing:

"This person is known to the Security Police as the owner of a temporary residence permit. Currently the services does not have any information that the deal you're referring to would cause direct or immediate threat to national safety interests."

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