RIGA, Feb 8 (LETA) - Certain Latvian lawmakers in the debate in the parliament today voiced doubts whether the current wording of the bill on the Latvian archives of the former Soviet security service KGB was appropriate to ensure timely release of this information.MP Ilmars Latkovskis said during the debate that the commission of researchers studying the KGB files was to complete their work by late May this year but under the new bill the KGB documents along with the expert commentaries were to be published on the Internet by December 31. He said that any further delay in release of the KGB archives into the public domain must be avoided. MP Ringolds Balodis said he supported the bill as he expected it to be perfected during further review in the parliament but he also voiced concerns about the quality of the expert commentaries. He said the KGB files with information about collaborators was "a sort of a Soviet boot poised over the parliament" since the early 1990s, and afterwards MP Inese Laizane expanded this metaphor, saying that "those documents are not just a boot over the parliament, they are lead shoes on the feet of our people that we need to take off". MP Ritvars Jansons (National Alliance), who had proposed the bill in question, said the researchers had promised to make expert commentaries and would determine the scope of the documents to be made public with a focus on exposing the system in general rather than individual minor informers. The Latvian parliament today upheld in the first reading the bill under which the KGB archives currently kept at the Centre for the Documentation of the Consequences of Totalitarianism located in the Constitution Protection Bureau are to be transferred to the Latvian National Archives to facilitate transparency and research of the complicated processes in Latvia during the Soviet occupation. The parliament's Legal Office previously spoke out against submitting the bill for the first reading, saying that its current wording could cause the risk of a collision of laws. As reported, the Latvian parliament in May 2014 passed in the final reading the amendments to the law about storage and use of the KGB files under which a government-approved panel of researchers was created to study those files till May 2018 before making public the sensitive materials.The possibility of releasing information from KGB files that were left behind in Latvia after the Baltic state restored its independence from the Soviet Union in 1990 has been discussed in Latvia at regular intervals during the past years with some arguing that the former KGB agents should be exposed and others questioning the authenticity of the documents and information contained in them.
Published: 08.02.2018 18:10