Cilinskis sacked over 16th March parade attendance
Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma has asked the Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Einārs Cilinskis, to submit his resignation.
The decision came after Cilinskis voted against a government decision that no government minister should attend a 16th March parade. Cilinskis announced that he will attend the parade by veterans of the Latvian Legion, a group which was formed in 1943 and sided with the Nazis against the Russian invasion of Latvia. The march has happened every year since 1991 but no government minister has ever attended.
There is a concern in Latvia that any support for anti-Russian marches could be misinterpreted by the Russians at a time of heightened tensions over Ukraine and with the separatist referendum in Crimea taking place on Sunday. Ethnic Russians in Latvia make up about 27% or 590,000 in a population of just over two million.