In Latvia, Foreign Minister Krisjanis Karins announces his resignation

Latvian Foreign Minister Arturs Krisjanis Karins submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Evika Silina on Thursday March 28 after the opening of an investigation into a possible waste of public money, at the time when he headed the government of this Baltic country.

Krisjanis Karins told the press that he would continue in office until April 10, the date of the next meeting of Parliament “who should confirm the resignation”. Mme Silina told the LETA news agency that there was no “currently no official candidate for the vacant position of Minister of Foreign Affairs”.

Last week, the Latvian prosecutor general’s office announced that it had opened an investigation into the use of private planes for official flights by Mr. Karins, while he was prime minister, suspecting a waste of public funds. The prosecutor “took the decision to initiate criminal proceedings” to elucidate the character “flights carried out between 2019 and 2023”according to a press release from the prosecution.

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Flights booked without calls for tender

According to Latvian law, civil servants must choose the cheapest services, including for flights. However, Mr. Karins and his delegation would have taken planes at the time, at least eighteen times, without respecting this principle, passing on the additional costs to Latvian and European taxpayers.

Mr. Karins then mainly traveled to countries with which there are direct regular flights from Riga. The investigation carried out by the state controller revealed that flights had been booked without calls for tenders, although they were obligatory.

Born in the United States, Mr. Karins served as prime minister from 2019 to 2023, before resigning following a loss of popular support. A few weeks later, he became foreign minister, replacing Edgars Rinkevics, who was elected president.

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The World with AFP

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