Riga News

Riga Grows Bicycle Friendly

Sep 5th, 2014

With the new bike lanes in 2015, an easy bike passage through the centre of Riga on will be made available. The next year, a new urban project will add some cycle paths in both Brīvības iela and in the bridges linking the two banks of the Daugava.…

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Seventeen Killed in a Supermarket Roof Collapse

Nov 22nd, 2013

A 2011 supermarket in the centre of Riga collapsed late afternoon on Thursday, November 21st. According to local rescue services the total of casualties grew from 12 to 17. Ca 30 have been injured. To make matters worse, when the rescue operation…

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2014 European Film Academy Awards to Be Held in Riga

Feb 22nd, 2013

The European Film Academy has decided that next year's European Film Academy Awards will be held in Riga, announced the "Riga 2014" foundation. The event will be held at the Latvian National Opera building on December 13, and it will be one of the…

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Riga to become European Capital of Culture 2014

Feb 22nd, 2013

Riga is already a venue for cultural events on an international scale, but in 2014 it will become the cultural epicentre of Europe. During its year as European Capital of Culture, hundreds of special events will take place - culture in the very…

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Latvians Start Looking at their Price Tags Before EURO Comes In

Dec 18th, 2012

As reported, Latvia is planning to adopt the euro in January 2014. Price monitoring before the introduction of euro will begin this January in order to provide residents with information about the prices of the most popular goods and services before…

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Valuable Paining Returns to Riga Art Museum

Nov 28th, 2012

Stolen 20 years ago from the National Museum of Art, the Holy Family painting of the 19th century artist Alexander Heibels, worth ca. 20 000 LVL, has returned to its former place. However, it is not yet certain if the museum will be able to keep it.

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Runaway bear due to be stuffed?

Apr 30th, 2012

A popular brown bear who escaped from a national park near Riga and was subsequently shot dead may be stuffed and put in the Latvian Natural History Museum, authorities have revealed. The bear, named Made, had managed to break out of the…

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Brits returning to Riga, says ambassador

Mar 30th, 2012

Britain's ambassador to Riga has said that his compatriots are returning to the Latvian capital in increasing numbers, after a downturn in the wake of the credit crunch. Ambassador Andrew Soper told Latvia's State News Agency (LETA) that about…

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Superman wins Skeleton title

Feb 27th, 2012

Latvian skeleton racer Martin Dukurs won his second consecutive World Championship title on February 25th at the games in Lake Placid, New York. The Riga-born star, nicknamed Superman, finished over two seconds ahead of German silver medallist…

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Wizz Air launches new Latvian link to Netherlands

Dec 30th, 2011

Low-cost airline Wizz Air has launched a new service connecting Riga with the Dutch city of Eindhoven. A special cake in the shape of a light bulb was baked to celebrate the new route. Electronics company Philips, founded in 1891 in…

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It's Christmas for Latvian poker star

Nov 28th, 2011

A Latvian lad delighted the home crowd in Riga this November by winning the European Masters of Poker contest. Edgars Augstkalns saw off competition from 175 European poker aces, collecting a prize of 87,871 dollars. The event was held at…

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Beautician busted for smuggling military scopes

Oct 31st, 2011

A Latvian-born lady has been found guilty of smuggling military technology out of the United States. 24-year-old Anna Fermanova, who was arrested at JFK Airport last year, was found to be carrying night-vision sniper scopes, with the serial…

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Latvian inventors champion fashion power

Sep 29th, 2011

A team of scientists in Latvia has developed a way of using body movements to power electronic gadgets. The team has come up with with an electric generator that can be fitted into the lining of a jacket. The concept is that through…

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Bear won over with treats

Aug 23rd, 2011

A bulky brown bear that gave park wardens the slip has been recaptured by love and treats according to officals. The furry fellow went on the run from the Ligatne Nature Reserve, some 70 kilometres from the Latvian capital of Riga. Known to…

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Latvian beauty reveals close shave with crooks

Jul 30th, 2011

A Latvian girl currently taking party in the TV show Britain and Irelands Next Top Model has revealed that a flirtation with the modelling world nearly cost her dearly back in her native country. Blonde beauty Anastasia Bogatirjova, 19, says…

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Latvian beer coins spark controversy

Jun 30th, 2011

A specially released coin by the Bank of Latvia has sparked an angry riposte from the country's Health Ministry, amidst claims that the novelty currency promotes alcohol in an irresponsible fashion. The limited edition coins, which are to the…

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Blondes parade through Riga

May 28th, 2011

Hundreds of fair-haired revellers paraded through the Latvian capital on Saturday in the third edition of the popular Blonde procession. Originally launched to lift spirits as a result of the onset of the economic recession, the event has…

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Latvian runner challenges car to race

Apr 28th, 2011

Multi-medal-winning Latvian sprinter Gatis Salitis threw down the gauntlet over Easter and challenged a nifty motorist to a race against the clock. Having watched an English rugby player try something similar on Jeremy Clarkson's cult motor…

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Latvian émigré unleashes debut novel

Mar 29th, 2011

Eagerly awaited debut novel of migr writer David Bezmozgiz has been declared a hit by several leading international journals. Bezmozgiz was recently championed by The New Yorker as one of the twenty most promising authors at large today. T

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Popcorn argument ends in shooting

Feb 24th, 2011

Tragedy struck a Riga cinema in February during a screening of the hit movie Black Swan. Two men exchanged harsh words when one objected to the loud level of noise the other was making whilst eating popcorn. According to witnesses, heated…

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Latvia denies former Moscow mayor residency

Jan 30th, 2011

The Latvian government has banned Yuri Luzhkov, Moscow's former mayor from taking up residence in the country. The powerful Russian, who fell out of favour in Moscow and and was sacked as mayor in September, had applied for permanent residency…

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airBaltic Singled Out As Innovator

Dec 31st, 2010

The Latvian air carrier airBaltic has been highlighted in a list of the top ten innovators in the industry by independent source airlinetrends.com. The expert travel site noted that in recent years, air Baltic has made a transformation from a…

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Riga Knits World's Longest Scarf

Nov 29th, 2010

Wrapping up warm is always a sensible idea at this time of year, as anyone who lives east of Berlin will tell you. However, this November, the citizens of Riga took it a little bit further than most when they decided to knit the world's longest…

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Riga Named As Cheapest City For Travellers

Oct 19th, 2010

A survey by www.hotels.com has claimed that the Latvian capital offers the best value trip for UK travellers. According to the investigation, low cost accommodation averages out best in Riga, with the average price of a room there 52 pounds, a 7…

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Contest Underway To Trounce The Riga Beaver

Sep 17th, 2010

An unexpected growth of Riga's beaver population has prompted authorities to take action. For several months, locals have complained that the sharp-toothed fellows have been damaging the city's picturesque canal, as well as munching through…

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Self-service bike rental lets you see Riga, Jurmala

Jun 22nd, 2010

Beginning 30 June (21 June in Jurmala) there will be another way to see the city -- by bike! BalticBike is invading the streets with 100 bicycles in 11 easy-to-access locations in Riga and Jurmala. To use the service you have to register online at…

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Blondes to Take Over Riga

May 12th, 2010

The Blondes are on the loose again! Blonde and high-heeled beauties, dressed in pink and white will paint the town pink this time. They will be many. They will be alluring. And they will be eager to accomplish their mission: to spread joy, happiness…

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Lars von Trier to set Riga in scene

Apr 22nd, 2010

Danish film director Lars von Trier is to shoot a movie in Latvia's capital. According to Latvian newspapers, the well-known and controversial director is said to be already involved in writing the screenplay for a film called "A Royal Affair"…

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Blonde walk: The video and pics

Nov 12th, 2009

Last time we told you about the Blonde Power walk through Riga, but now we have the beautiful proof. Caution, you may need to pause if it's a bit too much for you. Restart when ready. Enjoy: Check out the equally impressive gallery of Blondes in…

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Blonde Power turns on the Cheer

Aug 14th, 2009

Finally this summer Latvians got something to smile about amid all the economic gloom and doom that has hit this titchy Baltic state. Strutting their - not insubstantial - stuff through Riga's main square came the delectable spectacle of 500…

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The Party's Over for Blacklisted Bars

Jul 15th, 2009

Venturing out for the night to Rigas bars and clubs will hopefully become a more easy-going experience after two pubs that have been accused of scamming tourists lost their licences.'The Lord Pub'and 'Puzzle Bar' had their licences revoked earlier…

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Party Pooper Cuts Can't Stop the Celebrations

Jun 21st, 2009

Latvians are getting ready to party the night away at Riga's traditional Midsummer Eve's 'Jani' Festival, held on 23 June, in an attempt to forget - at least for 24 hours - the economic woes that are sweeping the country.Far up north, summer days…

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Black listing for 'budget' fares airline

May 28th, 2009

Travellers searching for cheap flights to Riga be warned: Latvians national airline AirBaltic, which claims to offer cheap fares to the capital and Vilnius, has been rapped by the European Union, this week for not being upfront and clear about the…

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Bad News And Good News...

May 22nd, 2009

We have got terrible news! The event for which thousands of Latvians and other Europeans have been waiting for, Depeche Mode's concert, has been called off! The British it band was supposed to perform on May 25, but since it's voice, Dave Gahan, has…

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Dance Away...

Apr 24th, 2009

International Baltic Ballet Festival has just started in Riga. The 14th edition of the Festival begun with a concert, merging two opposing dance styles: tango and rock'n'roll. The Festival, which is going to last until May 6, has a rich tradition in…

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From AirBaltic To TaxiBaltic?

Mar 27th, 2009

The Latvian airline airBaltic stated that it is "seriously considering" creating its own taxi business. The idea was a result of many tourists complaints about being ripped-off by Rigas taxi companies. "Our primary goal is to have taxi services…

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One Of "The Three Tenors" In Riga

Feb 26th, 2009

The wonderful opera singer, Placido Domingo, chose to perform in Riga and it will be his only concert in the Baltic States. The famous tenor will come to the Latvian capital on August 7. The event will take place at the Mezaparks open-air stage.…

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Sorry, No Money For Sports

Jan 29th, 2009

The Riga City Council decided that it will not fund professional sports teams in the Latvian capital in 2009. As Riga City Council Deputy Imants Rakins from People's Party said, though it was previously stated that 1.8 million LVL will be…

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Run, Santa, Run!

Dec 17th, 2008

Over 760 Santas ran, scampered, scurried or sprinted through the Riga Old Town in the annual "Santa Fun Run" organized by the Rotary Club. It didn't matter whether you were a man or a woman, if you were mature or still in your diapers, Latvian…

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Alcohol Prices Go Up

Nov 25th, 2008

Bad news. The economic crises got to Latvia and is influencing prices of alcohol. According to some surveys, sales and production are falling (faster than expected!) while prices are rising. The fact that the government announced a new, exise tax on…

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WWII Soldiers Found in Riga

Aug 7th, 2008

In a discovery resembling something out of Indiana Jones, the remains of 600 soldiers have been discovered beneath a school playground in Riga. The playground, located on Kartupelu Street in the Pardaugava suburb, is now the site of a massive…

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Newspaper Busts Prostitution Ring

Mar 5th, 2008

While some people in the US or UK complain that the media does little in the name of justice anymore, in Riga there are still some journalists with integrity - at least the journalist that helped local police bust an underage prostitution ring in…

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Expulsion for All

Jan 29th, 2008

On the 21st of January, the Latvian Foreign Ministry decided to expel a Russian diplomat employed in the Russian embassy in Riga for activities incompatible with the status of diplomat. The ministry had received information from Latvian security…

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Wanted: Prime Minister

Dec 13th, 2007

If you're looking for a job in Riga, you might want to reach for the top - at the moment, the position of Prime Minister of Latvia is up for grabs, and it seems that the country's president can't make up his mind about the candidates. Latvian…

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2006 Gay Parade Ban Ruled Unlawful

Nov 21st, 2007

In a powerful win for gay rights in Riga, the Latvian Supreme Court has ruled that the ban of the 2006 Riga Pride parade by city authorities was in fact unlawful. The ban had already been ruled unlawful in April of this year by the Regional…

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No No-Confidence, But No Confidence in Government

Oct 30th, 2007

The Latvian government has just survived a vote of no-confidence, but that doesn't mean the people have any confidence in the current government. Anti-government protests continue from the previous week, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister…

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Bently Comes to Riga

Oct 16th, 2007

Perhaps the most obvious sign of Riga's growing wealth is a giant symbol of luxury like the English carmaker Bentley. This week, Bentley Motors opened their first dealership in Latvia right in Riga's centre on Krasta Street. With Latvia holding the…

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Belarusian-Latvian Investment Forum in Full Swing

Oct 8th, 2007

The third Belarusian-Latvian investment-financial forum is taking place this week in Latvia's capital, from the 8th until the 10th of October. The forum also includes a session of the Intergovernmental Belarusian-Latvian Commission for Economic and…

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Russian March Banned

Sep 7th, 2007

The Riga city council has rained on Latvian National Democratic Party's and Russian nationalist union Rodina's parade - specifically, by not allowing it. The two groups attempted to organize a "Russian March" to take place on Saturday, September 8th.

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The Baltic Bangkok? No Thanks

Jul 24th, 2007

Just weeks after the Latvian NGO Reaction declared a War on Sex Terrorism in Riga, calling for young women to not be won over by a cocktail from foreigners, it seems they need to shift their focus to encouraging foreigners to behave instead. Once…

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Beach Party in Latvia

Jul 17th, 2007

This summer, visitors to Riga as well as locals can catch some beach party excitement in the western Latvian coastal city of Liepaja on July 20th and 21st. While Liepaja is quite a bit further from Riga than Riga's own nearby resort town Jurmala…

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New Holocaust Memorial in Riga

Jul 10th, 2007

While the 4th of July might only seem special for Americans, Riga held its own special ceremony this past American Independence Day, but for a wholly different reason. The day has been declared a day of rememberence of the Jews who perished in World…

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A War on (Sex) Terror

Jun 19th, 2007

A Latvian NGO called Reaction has declared a war on what it calls "sex terrorism," or sex tourism. The declaration comes after the group has witnessed a disturbing rising trend of reports of women being harassed by visitors to Riga. While the NGO…

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Gay Pride Parade A Success

Jun 5th, 2007

For the first time, the Riga Pride Parade went off peacefully, with little in the ways of direct violent conflict. Several hundred pro-gay activists and supporters marched through Riga's Vermanes Park this past Sunday, surrounded by a human shield…

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Welcome, Dr. President

Jun 4th, 2007

The Latvian people have elected a new leader, and he goes by the name of Dr. Zatlers. As of last week, the new Latvian President is Valdis Zatlers, 52, a leading medical doctor who has headed several medical organisations throughout his career. Pr

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Riga Pride Parade Set to Go On

May 29th, 2007

While gay rights in the Baltics have been anything but popular in the past, things are slowly taking a turn for the better, at least for those of the pink persuasion in Riga. While sadly Vilnius's mayor prohibited the Vilnius pride parade from…

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Riga Life PDF Now Available!

May 28th, 2007

Have you been thinking lately, "Gee, Riga Life's online guide sure is helpful, but I wish I could take it with me on my trip to Riga!"? Well fear not, we have the answer to your problem - in the form of a new, downloadable PDF guide! Just click the…

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Riga's Youngest Cabbie

May 22nd, 2007

Good news for children and travellers - it's now easy to get a cab, even if you're only twelve years old! This month, a twelve year old Latvian boy was placed by a missing persons list by the police after he failed to show up at home. However, to…

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Border Issues Bordering on Unsolvable

Apr 30th, 2007

Just when we were celebrating the establishment (finally!) of a proper border between Russia and Latvia, it now seems we've cracked the champagne bottle open a bit too early. A court case has now been opened regarding the Latvian-Russian border…

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Border Established Between Latvia and Russia... Finally!

Mar 29th, 2007

It's been only a long sixteen years since the fall of the Soviet Union and Latvia's regained independence, and one would think that would be enough time to establish some things... like a border. Well, sometimes it takes sixteen years for the…

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The Drama of Domestic Violence

Feb 26th, 2007

Since joining the EU in 2004, Latvia has been participating in an ongoing project to curb domestic violence, sponsored by the EU. Both spousal abuse and marital rape are prohibited under the Latvian constitution, but unfortunately most domestic…

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Don't Drink and ...Steer?

Jan 22nd, 2007

While the mantra "don't drink and drive" is a commonly heard phrase, thanks to the captain and several crew members of a Maltese-flagged cargo ship, "don't drink and ship" might soon become a new social campaign. The ship, called the "Nijord, ran…

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NATO Summit to Take Place in Riga

Nov 29th, 2006

This week, beginning on November 28th the prestigious NATO Summit will take place in Latvia's capital city - the first NATO summit to be held on the territory of the former Soviet Union. One guest not on the list is Russian President Vladimir Putin…

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KGB files will be published in Latvian newspaper

Oct 27th, 2006

The Latvian Parliament in Riga passed a bill which will allow the publication of KGB archives in Latvia's national newspaper, Latvijas Vestnesis, on March 1, 2007. Passed yesterday, the bill is quite a controversial one, split mainly into factions…

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Queen Elizabeth in Riga

Oct 18th, 2006

It's fair to say that Latvia is used to British invasions after several years of welcoming marauding stag parties onto her shores. Thankfully for the good citizens of Riga's sanity, this most recent of invasions couldn't be better behaved - which is…

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Latvia lose out to Ireland

Oct 13th, 2006

Latvia lost out to Northern Ireland in the latest qualifying game for Euro 2008. The Baltic Nation had high hopes of causing an upset against their Irish hosts, but a poachers goal from David Healy - the 24th of his international career - saw the…

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'Offside' to open Riga Film Festival

Sep 11th, 2006

LONDON, September 11 (IranMania) - Iranian director Jafar Panahis controversial flick Offside will be screened at the opening ceremony of the 20th Riga International Film Forum Arsenals, MNA reported. Offside is about six Iranian girls who…

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Riga MP attacks Mersey 'savages'

Aug 31st, 2006

A European MP has branded Liverpool tourists 'savages' after an influx of visitors to his country since the recent launch of a new flight from John Lennon Airport. Latvian Oskars Kastens launched a scathing attack on visitors to Riga and insisted…

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Latvia haunted by Soviet past

Aug 28th, 2006

RIGA, August 16, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- August 21 marks the 15th anniversary of Latvia declaring full independence from the Soviet Union, after the failed coup attempt in Moscow a few days earlier. Since then Latvia has gone from strength to strength…

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Putin invites Ethnic Russians back

Aug 16th, 2006

RIGA, August 15, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin in June gave the nod to a package of incentives aimed at bringing ethnic Russians living abroad back to Russia. Latvia, whose large Russian diaspora has long been complaining of bad…

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Baltic capitals tell a tale of three cities

Aug 4th, 2006

Riga - The most striking feature of Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius - the capitals of the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania respectively - is their capacity to surprise. The Baltics are known mainly for their Soviet past. To most tourists…

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A Belgian King in Riga

Apr 24th, 2002

Belgium's King Albert II arrived in Riga Monday and will stay for three days in Latvia's capital. This will be the first time that a Belgian monarch has visited Latvia, making it a historic event for the country's citizens. Along with the King will…

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Whizz will be Winging in to Riga

Jan 1st, 1970

Budget airlines are keeping up full throttle their steady advance into former Commie states with the news that Whizz Air will be launching three new routes this March from Riga Airport. Whizz plans three flights a week to London Luton and Oslo Torp…

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