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Latvia’s Home Guard needs strengthening

May 19, 2014
From wire reports, RIGA

In order to strengthen Latvia' security, the development of the Home Guard must continue, Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs (Harmony Center) believes, reports LETA. In an interview on Latvian television show "900 sekundes" on May 19, Usakovs said that, given Latvia's human resources and financial capabilities, Latvia has no need for tanks (or ability to purchase, one must assume) or other such armaments; instead the country needs to improve its Home Guard. This is the most logical and effective way to strengthen the national security.

Usakovs does not see anything extraordinary in NATO soldiers' presence in Latvia. He stressed that Latvia has been part of NATO for 10 years already and that Latvian soldiers are NATO soldiers as well. Riga is regularly visited by NATO military ships and children are visiting the port to see them.

Usakovs also said that he believes it is important for Latvia that no economic sanctions against Russia be adopted, as such sanctions will affect Latvia significantly.

Usakovs was unable to mention other measures that should be taken in order to stop Russia's aggression in Ukraine. "I do not know," Usakovs said frankly. He stressed that the current events in Ukraine are "madness" and that a civil war might break out any moment. Latvia must do everything in its power to prevent it from happening; however, economic sanctions are not in Latvia's interests.

Either is a war in Ukraine, or closer to home. If sanctions help to prevent a war in Ukraine, to deter Russia from further aggression, then sanctions are in Latvia’s interests, despite some economic pain they would inflict.

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