Dana the Chess Player – OpEd – Eurasia Review


Chess is a smart and engaging board game – it’s a view shared by almost everyone, perhaps except those who spend their days in front of their video game consoles or computers. But this article will not focus on the game of chess itself, but rather on the International Chess Federation (FIDE) which appointed famous politician Dana Reizniece-Ozola as general manager. The same politician who forged his career in the ZZS political party and the wife of Andris Ozols (former director of the Latvian Investment and Development Agency).

You might think, “It’s great news that someone from our small nation will be occupying such an important position in an international organization!” Unfortunately, I am going to have to disappoint you – it seems that the beneficial owner of FIDE, Russia, is simply expressing its gratitude for Dana and ZZS’s close relationship with the former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and current President of FIDE. Arkady Dvorkovich.

When Dvorkovich was Deputy Prime Minister he was close to the ruling elite and was able to significantly influence Russia’s domestic policies, but since 2018 he has been tasked with leading one of Russia’s instruments of soft power. .

Before Dvorkovich, the post of president of FIDE was held by the Russian oligarch Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who in 2018 was suspended from his post for six months. The FIDE Ethics Commission ruled that Ilyumzhinov had violated the FIDE Code of Ethics, but it was not specified what he did exactly as this information is confidential. It was later revealed that the United States had imposed sanctions on him for supporting Bashar al-Assad’s bloody regime in Syria, which was most likely done on direct orders from the Kremlin.

In order to secure Dvorkovich as president of FIDE, the Kremlin engaged not only its entire diplomatic corps, but also state-owned enterprises with broad connections outside of Russia.

Either way, all of this further sheds light on the true role of ZZS and its boss Aivars Lembergs in Latvia’s political kitchen.

In August 2016, commenting on the informal meeting with then Deputy Prime Minister Dvorkovich, ZZS Board Member and Agriculture Minister Jānis Dūklavs stressed the need to maintain good economic relations with neighboring Russia.

At the time, three ZZS members – Minister of Finance Dana Reizniece-Ozola, Minister of Transport Uldis Augulis and Minister of Agriculture Jānis DÅ«klavs – held an informal meeting with Dvorkovich at a restaurant near the fish processing plant. Karavela. However, the Latvian Foreign Ministry was informed that only DÅ«klavs intended to meet with the Russian Deputy Prime Minister.

Dana the chess player, aware of the future prospects of ZZS, has she made an elegant gesture with her knight, or has her bishop landed in the swamp, from which it will be impossible for her to get out? clear conscience – only time will tell. Some experts are already expressing the opinion that such a career leap should not surprise anyone.

We should also not be surprised at Dana Reizniece-Ozola’s close personal relationship with Russia and her affinity for the Kremlin regime. Although she never publicly expressed such feelings, we all remember how each year with young Communists in the party Saskatchewan I loved visiting Moscow to participate in the Parliamentary Games organized by the Russian State Duma and play chess with the same smiling politicians who just annexed Crimea and started a bloody war in Donbass…


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