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Pabriks decides against Recruitment and Youth Guard Center director's resignation

Druvis Kleins/mil.lv.
RIGA, May 25 - Defense Minister Artis Pabriks has decided not to accept the resignation of Recruitment and Youth Guard Center Director Druvis Kleins.

As LETA was informed by the Defense Ministry's press department, such a decision was made after evaluating the information available to him and discussing this matter with Kleins himself.

''I wish to point out that Kleins' actions, as an official, were not correct. However, taking into account that we have no doubt of Kleins' loyalty to his country, I believe he should continue his work,'' Pabriks pointed out.

As reported, Kleins decided to submit his resignation to Pabriks in the flap over granting camouflage uniforms to students in a paramilitary camp in Russia last year.

Kleins points out that it was his decision to provide the uniforms and backpacks to the young people, who later participated in a paramilitary camp in Russia.

Kleins told reporters earlier this week that last year he was visited by a "good acquaintance" - Saeima MP and Association of Afghanistan War and Other Military Conflicts' Veterans Chairman Gunars Rusins, who requested support for the activities of young people abroad.

Kleins, unaware of the camp's ideology, granted ten camouflage uniforms and backpacks.

According to Kleins, he was misled and did not have any information about the camp's format, goals and tasks. When he made his decision, he did not have any doubt about the intentions of persons involved in the camp's organization and their loyalty. "As a retired officer and a loyal citizen of Latvia, I would never support the use of Latvian uniforms or other equipment in camps promoting the Soviet ideology or an ideology friendly to another country's army," explains Kleins.

Kleins believes that that the recent information in the mass media casts a shadow on the defense industry and the Youth Guard, therefore, as an officer of the Latvian Army and the center's head, he has assumed full responsibility for his actions and is ready to step down.
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