Russian speakers

Europe woke up in a different reality on February 24, 2022. Shocked, angered, frightened, stressed, outraged – we can probably find many words to describe the primal and visceral feelings of people. But there was one very clear-cut line: whether or not one supported Ukraine which fell victim to the barbaric and criminal Russian invasion. This was a turning point for many things, including shifting identities for many Latvian Russian-speakers.

Medium-sized private enterprises play an important role in the economy and social development. Medium-sized enterprises operating in domestic and foreign markets are a kind of “backbone” of the economy. Compared to small and large enterprises, medium-sized businesses have higher viability, better access to external financing, and “economies of scale” benefits. 

With many countries in Central Europe in the election season and with the ongoing violence in Israel and Gaza, the war in Ukraine has somewhat disappeared from the front pages. Indeed, several leading political forces in Central Europe have become less outspoken about their support for Ukraine or have indicated an intention to scale it down, hoping to regain support from populist factions.

Liberalism is a political philosophy based on the principles of peace. However, this fact has been very often generously interpreted by detaching liberalism from events beyond the borders of liberal states, no matter how anti-liberal, and thus threatening to freedom they might be. 

According to the Fraser Institute’s updated “Economic Freedom of the World” report, Ukraine has left the group of the most economically unfree countries. The report measures the level of support for economic freedom by countries’ institutions and policies in five areas: the size of government, the rule of law and the protection of property rights, sound money, the freedom of international trade, and the regulation of the labor market and business.

Most people may believe that we tend to learn from past mistakes. On the other hand, some may prefer to subscribe to the approach of ‘let the bygones be bygones’ (or, in Latin terms, quod periit, periit), and focus on looking toward the future. However, when the past catches up with us, we must pay close attention to it and figure out what we want our next steps to be.