A Lithuanian company has won the tender for new trams delivery, arranged by the Latvian government of Daugavpils. It promised to provide trams from the Russian city of Tver, produced by the local locomotive plant owned by Transmasholding, mixnews.lv informs.
However, Latvian special services have raised concern - they state that "this and other factories of the concern are Russian arms manufacturers, which, for example, make launching platforms for intercontinental missiles." They in the Daugavpils city hall say they know that "the new trams will be manufactured by the military-industrial complex of the Russian Federation, however, since the security services have not formally made any claims, the purchase will take place." The trams produced in Russia are twice as cheap as those offered by producers from the EU.
Representing the Tver factory, the Lithuanian company was one of two candidates who participated in the contest. The second one was a company from Belarus, which, as reported, "offered an experimental model that did not match the conditions of the tender." Mayor of Daugavpils, Rihard Eigims, said that "the origin of trams should not be the reason for stopping the competition, because the city needs vehicles."
The Latvian Security Police (DP) indicated that when choosing a service provider, self-management should pay attention not only to price, but also to reputation risks. "The purchase of public transport from not a European Union or NATO member state producer, in the future may adversely affect national interests," the DP noted.
It worth mentioning that earlier Daugavpils already received trams from Russia. Those trams that served the city lines were in operation for several decades and needed to be replaced. In October 2012, the union of two companies - the Belarusian JSC "Belkommunmash" and the Latvian Agmen Consulting Bureau - was recognized as the winner of the tender to acquire new wagons for the Daugavpils tram enterprise.
However, Belarusian suppliers failed to cope with the terms of the contract and tore down the cars delivery date. In this regard, the local government was forced to organize a new competition. The winner in it in July 2014 was the open joint-stock company Nacionālā Kontraktu Korporācija, registered in Russia. It delivered to the city tram cars manufactured at the Ust-Katav Carriage Works named after Kirov and belonged to the middle class. The cost of the purchase was about 6 million Euros. At the same time, more than 80% of the project cost was financed from the European Regional Development Fund.