RIGA - In the current situation, when Russia is fully focused on achieving its war objectives in Ukraine, an attack on Latvia or another Baltic or NATO country is very unlikely, said Foreign Policy expert Maris Cepuritis in an interview with TV3 this morning.
At the same time, Cepuritis, who also serves as national defense adviser to the prime minister, acknowledged that in the long run Latvia must continue to do everything possible to strengthen the common defense capabilities of both the Baltic States and NATO, because "Russia has indeed embodied the status of an aggressive superpower and will be ready to invade Latvia in the future if we give them the opportunity''.
"Therefore, our task is to strengthen Latvia's defense together with our partners - both within the Baltic States and within NATO. The current commitment - a defense budget of at least 2.5 percent, and the strengthening of NATO's eastern flank, is aimed at deterring any Russian activities so that we do not become an easy target,'' Cepuritis explained.
Asked to comment on the likelihood that Russian President Vladimir Putin could decide on an irrational decision to use nuclear weapons in the war against Ukraine, the researcher said the escalation of the situation which might lead to a conflict with NATO would be "a new level for which Russia is not ready and most likely will not go forward with".
The prime minister's adviser added that when trying to look at Putin's decisions from a rational perspective, it can be believed that the president of the neighboring country, before the invasion of Ukraine, may not have been provided with precise information regarding the population's expected attitude towards potential "liberators" entering their country, and this is why an internal sweep of Russia's security structures are being observed at the moment.