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Latvia’s foreign minister steps down after flights scandal

Latvia reinstates mandatory military service for men
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Latvian Foreign Minister Krisjanis Karins said Thursday he would step down following a scandal over his use of state funds to pay for private flights during his time as prime minister.

Last week, Latvia’s prosecutor general opened a probe into the misuse of state funds after it was revealed that Karins had allegedly spent up to 1.3 million euros ($1.4 million) on private jet rentals for official trips.

“I am handing over to the prime minister (Evika) Silina my resignation notice,” Karins told reporters, adding that he will remain in office until April 10.

The Baltic state’s public procurement law states that public officials must use the cheapest services available for official trips.

Karins rented private jets more than a dozen times to fly to countries that have regular direct flights from Riga, including Belgium, Germany and Poland.

US-born Karins served as Latvia’s prime minister from 2019 to 2023 when he stepped down after his government began to lose public support.

“There are no official candidates for the foreign ministry vacancy yet,” Silina told the LETA newswire.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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