Risk of provocations in Latvia growing by the day - Kozlovskis

  • 2024-02-09
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Taking into account Latvia's support for Ukraine and the overall policy pursued by the Latvian government, the risk of provocations in Latvia is rising by the day, Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis (New Unity) said in an interview with Latvian Radio on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry's press secretary Diana Eglite told LETA that Russia's intention to arrange a polling station at its embassy in Riga for the upcoming presidential election was being assessed in consultations with competent authorities and international partners.

When asked to comment on whether Latvia should authorize the elections at the embassy, Kozlovskis said that a decision on how to proceed would be taken within a week. At the same time, the minister said he believed that all three Baltic countries should be on the same page about the issue, but there would be risks in any case.

Furthermore, March 16 is the remembrance day of the Latvian Legionnaires when the authorities are on high alert every year, noted Kokzlovskis, adding that this year the date coincided with the Russian presidential "elections", scheduled for March 15-17. "These few days will be a major challenge," the minister emphasized.

At the same time, the possibility of provocations is "growing by the day" as Latvia supports Ukraine and keeps the bar high at the European level, said Kozlovskis.

The Interior Ministry is taking all the possible preventive measures to avoid risks, said Kozlovskis. "There are elements of hybrid war that Russia can use against Latvia, given that we are moving forward pursuing a policy that is absolutely unacceptable to the Kremlin," the minister stressed.

Kozlovskis, however, has no information on what Russia could do next with its hybrid threats. Nevertheless, Latvia has so far managed to deal efficiently with confrontations and altercations on controversial dates, and Latvia is still considered an island of safety compared to many other European countries, he said.