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Council member: ECB is openly dissatisfied with restrictions imposed on Rimšēvičs

Kusners Edvards bank lv.jpg
The European Central Bank (ECB) is openly dissatisfied with restrictions imposed on one of its council members – governor of the Bank of Latvia Ilmārs Rimšēvičs, said council member of the Bank of Latvia Edvards Kušners in an interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

«They [ECB] are openly dissatisfied with the fact that the executive power in Latvia has imposed restrictions on a member of the council of the country’s central bank, because there is already another member of the council in the same bank who has been a suspect for two years but, in spite of his status, continues freely visiting Frankfurt to take part in meetings. They view this as violation of rights. I believe what we have now is one large, if not international, at least European conflict,» said Kušners, adding that ECB is rather serious about the whole thing.

He says that Latvia still has voting rights. However, the question is about Rimšēvičs’ ability to even travel to Frankfurt. At the same time, Kušners adds that some meetings of the ECB council are held using video conference format. This means that Rimšēvičs is able to participate in meetings, but it is necessary to find a way to integrate circulation of internal documents and information into Rimšēvičs’ new status.

He admits that the team of the Bank of Latvia has mixed feelings on this matter. «Feelings are mixed – there is a cocktail of unpleasant feelings. It was a shock for the reputation of our institution. It is a process of major changes for the bank’s internal management system. It was an entire era when Rimšēvičs was in charge of the bank. These changes will require us to reconsider many things. This also presents a great deal of stress for us to ensure continued and unhindered function of the bank,» said Kušners.

BNN had previously reported that after his arrest, Ilmārs Rimšēvičs was applied with a security measure that prohibits him from performing his duties. This was confirmed by Latvia’s Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis after an extraordinary meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Rimšēvičs is held suspect of demanding and accepting a bribe worth at least EUR 100,000.

Kučinskis mentioned that the government listened to the report from the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (CPCB) in regards to Rimšēvičs’ arrest. He mentioned that the bureau will provide more detailed information on this matter once the investigation allows it.

«The governor of the Bank of Latvia was applied with a security measure on Monday, 19 February. As bare minimum, he will not be allowed to perform his official duties,» Kučinskis said.


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