Latvia’s capital seeks to maintain politically positive relations with Moscow regardless of any tensions between Russia and the EU, the mayor of Riga Nil Ushakov said in an interview with TASS.
“It is very important for Riga to develop positive relations with Russia’s regions,” the mayor said. “I am confident that positive political climate helps the two countries’ businessmen to implement their plans which is important for the citizens of Latvia as well as for the Russians.”
Ushakov noted that he had taken office as mayor over seven years ago, all this time he had been trying to maintain positive atmosphere between the two capitals. “We will continue to do that regardless of any tensions between Russia and the European Union or between Russian and Latvia because long-term relations between people matter more than any problems we faced in the past, are facing now and will be facing in the future,” the mayor stressed.
According to Nil Ushakov, in the course of the past 15 years, the relations between Riga and Moscow had been through ups and downs. He said that when the relations were at their best, Russians accounted for 30% of tourists visiting Latvia’s capital while Riga’s Corners had been established in more than 20 shopping malls in Moscow, Russian nationals had invested over € 300 mln into Riga’s real estate. “This was the best period that ended not so long ago but we are optimistic and eager to work to bring bilateral relations to a high level,” the mayor of Riga said.
Riga is currently hosting the events dedicated to the two capitals’ partnership’s anniversary. On Friday, a forum on business cooperation will be held dubbed “Moscow – Riga: 15 years of partnership”, while the Latvian veterans of World War II will mark the 75th anniversary of the Moscow Battle at the Moscow House cultural center.