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Latvian Prime Minister resigns


Latvia

Latvian Prime Minister resigns

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The Prime Minister of Latvia has resigned.

Laimdota Straujuma has blamed political squabbles in her centre-right governing coalition and dissatisfaction about her leadership.

“The state is in good health,” Straujuma told reporters. “We need new ideas, new contributions and new energy to allow us to continue the work we have begun.”

Straujuma’s hawkish coalition won the 2014 general election after taking a hard line on the actions of Russia in Ukraine.

The coalition was made up of the Unity Party, the Nationalist Alliance and the Union of Greens and Farmers.

But many members were unhappy with her leadership style.

President “sorry”

Latvia’s president, Raimonds Vejonis, says he is sorry that “internal political quarrels” have scuppered Straujuma’s government. He has called on the political parties to concentrate on putting together a new leadership for the Baltic country.

Latvia’s strategic importance

Latvia is a member of both NATO and the European Union. It has backed EU economic sanctions imposed on Moscow over its annexation of the Crimean peninsula and its support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

After taking over as prime minister in January, Straujuma boosted defence spending and joined Baltic neighbours Estonia and Lithuania in pressing for a bigger NATO presence in the region.

Her victory last year brought a sigh of relief from many worried that the pro-Russian Concord Party might gain power and give Russian President Vladimir Putin a friendly voice in the EU.

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