Concentration of Russian troops on Ukrainian border poses a threat of military escalation - Rinkevics

  • 2022-01-11
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The concentration of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border poses a threat of military escalation, said Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity), who today presented to the Cabinet of Ministers the annual foreign policy report.

In the report, Rinkevics pointed out that last year Latvia's foreign policy had six main priorities. The regime of Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus carried out a hybrid attack on the EU-NATO eastern border by organizing artificial migration flows. Latvia, together with Poland and Lithuania, actively worked to oppose efforts to destabilize the region.

Rinkevics stressed that Russia continues to pursue a confrontational foreign policy. Against the background of the hybrid attack by the Lukashenko regime, Russia has been operating in the airspace over Belarus, which, together with the concentration of troops on the Ukrainian border, poses a threat of military escalation.

The Minister also noted that in matters of EU policy, Latvia focused on climate policy and digital transformation, as well as the development of the Strategic Compass, which aims to set new ambitions in the EU security and defense policy segment, increase resilience, develop the defense industry and related investment environment, and building partnerships for security policy.

According to Rinkevics, the meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Riga was a significant contribution to the Allied consultation process and the discussion on the revision of the NATO Strategic Concept. In his opinion, it is symbolic that the political discussion was started in Riga - in the north-east of NATO, but will be concluded in Madrid - in the south-west of NATO.

The Foreign Minister pointed out that, confirming Latvia's ability to contribute to global processes, Latvia will run for the post of non-permanent member state in the UN Security Council elections for the period from 2026 to 2027. He emphasized that the definition of the campaign's thematic priorities had begun.

Meanwhile, in order to promote stability and sustainable development in the neighboring regions, according to the Minister, the successful implementation of the European Neighborhood Policy and the establishment of cooperation with the Central Asian region has been a constant foreign policy priority.

The Minister also emphasized that the international environment has become more fragmented and confrontational. This is due both to the aggressive behavior of individual countries in ignoring or trying to impose their own interpretations of generally accepted international norms, and to the need for a stronger, more convincing response to destabilizing global challenges, including international terrorism, violations of democratic principles and growing threats in cyberspace.

"There are still stagnant tendencies in the activities of international organizations and global governance based on international law. The development of the international situation is influenced by the rivalry of the centers of power, opponents of democracy, authoritarianism, as well the escalation of hybrid threats," Rinkevics emphasized in the report.