Baltic states must do everything possible to be prepared for Russia's aggression - Murniece

  • 2023-01-11
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - At present, there are no reasons to believe that Russia might change its aggressive foreign policy, which is why everything possible must be done to get prepared for aggression on Russia's part, Defense Minister Inara Murniece (National Alliance) said while meeting with her Baltic colleagues. 

On Wednesday, Murniece met in Tallinn with Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur and Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas, LETA was told at the press office of the Latvian Defense Ministry.

"The Baltic states' security is interconnected because of our common history and geopolitical challenges. The meeting in Tallinn repeatedly reaffirmed the Baltic nations' close cooperation and unwavering resolve to strengthen our region's security together. At present, there is no reason to believe that Russia might change its aggressive foreign policy. We must therefore do everything possible to be prepared for possible aggression on Russia's part," Murniece said.

The talks of the Baltic defense ministers focused on regional security challenges and NATO's agenda, including the bolstering of the alliance's deterrence and defense capabilities.

Murniece indicated that in 2023, Latvia will be the lead nation in the Baltic states' defense cooperation.

"Our priority is to ensure that the Baltic states are much more integrated in their defense and ability to respond to challenges. We will therefore continue work on the Baltic states' common agreement which in case of military threats would allow the Baltic states to speed up mutual assistance. At the same time, we will develop defense cooperation among the Baltic states by strengthening planning, working on legal mechanisms and developing common capabilities," Murniece said. 

The Baltic defense ministers also discussed the current situation in Ukraine in the context of the war started by Russia and its impact on the region's security, as well as the provision of support to Ukraine.