BNN summary of the week: Progress with coalition in Latvia. Bombing in Ukraine. Russia. Liz Truss resigns

This week New Unity’s initiated coalition formation negotiations continued in Latvia. Some progress was reported in topics like Latvia’s security. However, the big question remains whether the coalition will consist of three or four parties.
Attacks from Russian forces continued in Ukraine this week. According to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, approximately 30% of the country’s power plants are destroyed, forcing the country to impose strict energy austerity measures with blackout periods.
In addition to attacks on Ukraine and its residents, Russia has also announced a state of war in occupied Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporozhzhia regions. According to different reports, the situation in Kherson is «tense».
Estonian parliament, meanwhile, has joined its neighbours Latvia and Lithuania is declaring the Russian Federation a terrorist regime, condemning the country’s invasion of Ukraine and annexation of its territories.
In Britain Liz Truss has left the post of prime minister. Her term lasted a whole 45 days.
In Latvia, meanwhile, measures are to be taken to close down 18 less busy branches of the State Fire and Rescue Service.
BNN gives you a summery of the most relevant events of the past week in the following topics: Slight progress; Energy infrastructure; State of war; The same threat, Estonia as well; 45 days; Left for someone else; Closure.
Progress in coalition formation talks; informal meetings to continue
Photo: Evija Trifanova/LETARepresentatives of New Unity and Combined List have reached progress and an agreement in regards to government priorities in the defence sector, as confirmed by Security Workgroup’s head, PM Krišjānis Kariņš’s parliamentary secretary Evika Siliņa.
In the second half of the week parties participating in coalition talks discussed topics like actions in security, health, business, sustainable development, energy and energy protection sectors. Next week it is planned to hold meetings to discuss tasks in the social sector, said Siliņa.
When asked if any agreements are already reached in certain topics or tasks, the PM’s parliamentary secretary said it will be possible to tell after some time – once results of all workgroups have been compiled.
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Zelenskyy: 30% of Ukraine’s power plants were destroyed in Russian massive attacks
Photo: Flickr30% of Ukraine’s power plants have been destroyed since 10 October. This caused massive power outages across the entire country, as Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter.
«Another kind of Russian terrorist attacks: targeting energy & critical infrastructure. Since Oct 10, 30% of Ukraine’s power stations have been destroyed, causing massive blackouts across the country,» Zelenskyy wrote, adding that negotiations are no longer possible with Putin’s regime.
According to BBC, Russian armed forces have performed new targeted attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, leaving parts of Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities without power or water.
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Russia declares state of war in territories occupied in Ukraine
Photo: AP/SCANPIX/LETAOn Wednesday, 19 October, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a state of war in four regions in Ukraine occupied by Russia, as reported by Reuters.
Putin’s decree on state of war applies to self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhzhia regions occupied by Russian forces. The state of war comes into force on 20 October.
BNN previously reported that in September Moscow organised «referenda» in territories occupied in Ukraine. After those referenda Kremlin declared them as Russian territories. The international community do not recognise results of those referenda as legitimate.
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SAB: Belarus should be viewed as threat to the region, similarly to Russia
Photo: Reuters/SCANPIX/LETABelarus is expected to continue providing support to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This includes supplies of arms, repairs of damaged military vehicles, treatment of wounded. It is also possible some of Russia’s newly mobilised troops may undergo training in Belarus, using Belarusian armed forces’ resources, as reported by Latvia’s Constitution Protection Bureau (SAB).
On Tuesday, 18 October, SAB published the second in a series of analytical articles dedicated to publicly important topics. In it SAB explains the situation in Belarus and its role in Russian-Ukrainian conflict, as well as how it will affect Latvia.
After elections in Belarus in 2020, Aleksandr Lukashenko’s regime violently cracked down on protests. In summer 2021 Belarus is believed to have manipulated an influx of illegal migrants across Latvian, Lithuania and Polish borders. Since February 2022 Belarus has been actively supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. By doing this Belarus has refused to normalise relations with the west and has instead decided to end up under Russia’s military, economic and political influence.
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Estonian parliament declares Russian Federation a terrorist regime
Photo: UnsplashThe Estonian parliament (Riigikogu) has declared the regime in Russia a terrorist one. Members of the parliament also condemn Russia’s annexation of sovereign Ukrainian territories, as reported by Estonian ERR.
The statement was passed with 88 votes in favour. Three members of the parliament abstained in the vote. The statement also stresses that Estonia will «never recognize the violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine through aggressions and sham referenda»,
«Violation of law can never create law. Putin’s regime, with its threats of nuclear attack has transformed Russia into the biggest danger to peace both in Europe and in the whole world,» the statement mentions.
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Britain’s Liz Truss announces decision to resign as PM
Photo: Reuters/SCANPIX/LETAOn Thursday, 20 October, Britain’s Liz Truss officially announced her decision to resign from her position of prime minister, as reported by BBC.
According to the media, Truss spent a mere 45 days in office. This makes it the shortest term any British PM has spent in office in the history of the United Kingdom.
The previous «record» was held by George Canning, who spent 119 days as PM in 1827.
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Latvia’s National Defence Service Law left for 14th Saeima to tackle
Photo: Sgt. Ēriks Kukutis/FlickrReview of the National Defence Service legislative draft is officially left for the next Saeima, whose term is expected to commence 1 November.
The majority of Saeima deputies decided to exclude the legislative draft and accompanying legislative drafts from the agenda following the request of the Defence, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee. It was originally planned to review the legislative draft today.
The committee submitted its request to exclude the legislative draft following what a representative of the Ministry of Defence – that because of the 100 or so proposals received so far, including proposals from Saeima’s Legal Affairs Office, preparation of the legislative draft would take approximately two weeks.
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Latvian State Fire and Rescue Service to temporarily shut down 18 less overworked branches
Photo: Edijs Pālens/FlickrThe State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) has decided to temporarily shut down 18 less busy branches until the end of 2022, as reported by VUGD chief Oskars Āboliņš.
Operations will therefore cease at Roja, Sabile, Piltene, Alsunga, Jaunjelgava, Nereta, Eleja, Aknīste, Viesīte, Auce, Bulduri, Baldone, Cesvaine, Varakļāni, Mazsalaca, Strenči, Zilupe and Tilža VUGD branches.
It will not happen at the same time, each post will be shut down depending on the situation and staff availability – branches will remain operational on some days but shut down on others.
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