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Ukraine a wake-up call for Latvia

May 29, 2014
From wire reports, RIGA

The events in Ukraine should be perceived as a wake-up call to Latvia, former Saeima member and former National Armed Forces commander Juris Dalbins said, reports LETA.

Dalbins believes that currently there is no direct military threat from Russia, as Latvia is protected by NATO; however, that does not mean that Russia is not interested in Latvia. At times like these, a strong authority, capable of averting ethnic or social conflicts within the country, is necessary, Dalbins said.

The Ukraine developments have shown that military offense can be realized without using conventional war tactics, but with small unidentifiable military groups. This is a major challenge to the international laws on military conflicts as well as a challenge to any security system, not just national defense but civilian institutions as well, said Dalbins.

According to him, the threat of military incursion intensifies if there is a serious internal conflict in a country. This may lead to campaigns being organized and help requested from other countries in order to protect the interests of a particular group of society. Dalbins believes that it is difficult to refer to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty in the case of Ukraine, as it is difficult to identify military units without ensigns that operate in Ukraine.

Thus, military defense is a responsibility of not only the Ministry of Defense, but the entire country, Dalbins stressed. He believes that the government has to constantly monitor the situation in order to avert international or social conflicts within the country.

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