Authorities to investigate cooperation between Riga City Council and Russian design company
Latvian Security Police has commenced an investigation regarding the cooperation between Riga City Council and Russian Giprostrojmost, which is a company under EU and US sanctions.
Because the investigation is in its early stages, Security Police refuses to comment on this matter.
As previously reported by Nekā personīga programme of TV3, Riga City Council cooperates with Russian Giprostrojmost company, which is responsible for designing the Crimean Bridge. This company is also under international sanctions.
In response, Riga City Council’s Transport Department explained that in June, after the Saeima approved amendments to the Law on International Sanctions and National Sanctions of the Republic of Latvia, the department received a letter from the Foreign Affairs Ministry. This letter mentioned that the ban on cooperation with companies applied with international sanctions does not apply to tenders commenced before the approval of the law amendments. The same thing was told to the Procurement Monitoring Bureau. The cooperation agreement with G.B.V., which includes Giprostrojmost, was signed by the department in 2016, before the company was applied with international sanctions. The agreement was signed in relation to the design and supervision over Eastern highway section from Ieriķu Street to Vietalvas Street. According to Una AhunaOzola, representative of Riga City Council’s Transport Department, this is they only active contract between the municipality and Giprostrojmost.
«Considering the aforementioned, Transport Department invites Foreign Affairs Ministry to withdraw its statement made to Nekā personīga that if the department continues working with the Russian company it could result in criminal liability,» said Ahuna-Ozola. At the same time, she said design work is almost done. Giprostrojmost’s contribution was 3.8%. «Considering the amount of work, the fact that this is a project co-financed by the European Union and that it needs to be finished by the end of 2020, Transport Department sees no reason to terminate the contract,» explains the department’s representative.