On 12 December 2019, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Andris Pelšs, held political consultations with the First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Titov, the ministry said in a news release.
On 12 December 2019, the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosts a conference devoted to development cooperation, titled “Latvia’s contribution to sustainable global development: Seeking new cooperation models”, organised in cooperation with NGO the Latvian Platform for Development Cooperation.
The Welfare Ministry promised to amend the criteria for granting a company social enterprise status after structured water producer Memory Water gained this status and a 133 000 euro grant, while employing disabled persons for only a few hours a week, Latvian Television's Panorāma broadcast reported on December 9.
In the wake of the sanctioning by the United States of prominent businessman-cum-politician - or in the U.S. Treasury's words, "oligarch" - Aivars Lembergs and businesses with which he is linked, the Latvian government on December 11 outlined a new plan to take over control of the freeports of Rīga and Ventspils.
Issues around improving the Latvian voting system were discussed at the Central Election Commission (CVK) conference, including creating an electronic voter registry to make voting with an ID card easier, as well as the benefits and risks of online voting, CVK Chair Kristīne Bērziņa told Latvian Radio on December 6.
Latvia has once again been mentioned in the world of showbiz - the popular American comedy show Saturday Night Live featured Latvian President Egils Levits in the show's famous opening sequence on December 7.
On 6 December 2019, the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), António Guterres, approved Ilze Brands-Kehris as his Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, the highest-ranking post in the UN structure ever held by someone from Latvia, according to a release from the ministry of foreign affairs.
On Friday 6 December Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš met with Prime Minister of Estonia Jüri Ratas, Prime Minister of Lithuania Saulius Skvernelis to discuss issues of importance to the Baltic region – most pressingly the Rail Baltica project following recent resignations from executives overseeing the project and expressions of concern from other employees, as previously reported by LSM.
Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and longtime Rīga City Mayor Nils Ušakovs (Harmony) is prepared to run in the capital's extraordinary elections, should they occur, Harmony Board Chair Jānis Urbanovičs confirmed to LETA news agency.
Environmental Protection and Regional Development (VARAM) Minister Juris Pūce (Development/For!) called for the dissolution of the Rīga City Council in a press conference on December 6, however the final decision is in the hands of Saiema members.
On 3 December 2019, the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers approved a draft resolution prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that will mean Latva pays contributions to various international organizations from the Foreign Ministry's budget.
On November 28 the European Parliament adopted a resolution urging seven countries that have signed, but not ratified the Istanbul Convention to immediately ratify the convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, however in Latvia as of December 3 only two coalition forces support the convention, according to Latvian Radio.
Estonia has become the presiding country of the Baltic Assembly (BA), taking over for the next year from Latvia at the conclusion of the 38th session of the Assembly in Riga. The Baltic Assembly presidency is held on the principle of rotation.
Despite the formation of a new coalition in Rīga City council, Riga Mayor Olegs Burovs (Honor to Serve Riga) survived a vote of no confidence November 30 and will continue in his position.
State Police Chief Ints Ķuzis presented a plan for State Police reforms to the Saeima Defense, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee on November 27, according to Latvian Radio.
On November 28 the Saeima Foreign Affairs Committee decided to review areas where Valka and Valga residents could receive common services based on an international agreement by summer next year, according to the Parliamentary Press Service.
The opposition Harmony party continues to boast of the widest support among Latvian voters, but is also continuing to shed that support, according to the latest opinion polling data.
Amid tractor protests in smaller regions and threats of turning to the Constitutional Court from larger cities, the New Conservative Party (JKP) announced that on Monday, November 25 the coalition conceptually agreed on joining Rūjiena and Naukšēni with Valmiera in accordance with the JKP proposal regarding regional administrative reforms.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia said November 23 it felt "astonishment" at a comment made by the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation "questioning the judgement of the Constitutional Court of Latvia about the language of instruction in private education institutions in Latvia."
A self-confessed British Nazi, whose organization has since been listed as a terrorist group by the United Kingdom, visited the headquarters of the National Alliance political party in Latvia in 2015, LTV's De Facto investigative journalism show reported November 24.
Latvia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement November 22 pointing out that the Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman was being less than wholly accurate in her pronouncements on Latvia.
Rīga City Council Mayor Oļegs Burovs (Honor to Serve Riga (GKR)) promised to resign from his position and call an emergency election himself if he is unsuccessful in securing a majority coalition in the Rīga City Council, he said in an interview with Latvian Radio on November 20.
During a recent visit to France, reported at the time by LSM, Latvian President Egils Levits stopped off at the studios of the France24 television news channel and gave a wide-ranging English-language interview, which you can watch above.
After two long days of parliamentary debate, the Latvian Saeima finally approved the state budget for 2020 late on November 14.
Debate over the form of Latvia's 2020 spending plans entered a second day November 14 following a marathon sitting November 13 that only managed to get a third of the way through the 29-item agenda.
The final reading of the Latvian government's budget for 2020 got under way at Saeima November 13 with a lengthy day of debate in prospect.
The secretary general of one of the parties in Latvia's ruling five-party coalition has responded to reveations that he was the user of a far right and neo-Nazi message board.