RIGA - Latvian defense industry cannot rule that Latvia may have to face pressure from Russia, however, the defense industry does not believe that a Russian invasion of Latvia is to be expected, Defense Minister Artis Pabriks (Development/For) told LETA.
Commenting on an interview of Oleksiy Arestovych, Advisor to the Office of the President of Ukraine, by Latvian Defense Ministry's parliamentary secretary Baiba Blodniece, in which Arestovych says that Latvian residents should start living with a thought that there will be war, and only then it is possible to prepare highly professional and capable armed forces, Pabriks said that such an interview was very necessary because it was important understand what and how Ukrainians think.
Latvia should listen to and analyze Ukraine's experience, but this does not mean that "we should accept everything at face value". Arestovych speaks from the standpoint of Ukraine, while Latvian defense industry has pointed out that if Latvia was not a member of the EU and NATO, it would be in the same position as Ukraine and we would already be at war, said Pabriks.
Arestovych is well aware of the situation in Ukraine, but he is not fully aware of the situation in Latvia. "We have always said that we have to analyze the situation from the bleakest angle possible, not excluding the possibility that we may have to face Russian pressure in the next five to ten years," emphasized Pabriks.
The defense industry does not believe that there will be a war, but it does know what Latvia has to do to prevent Russia from attacking Latvia. This entails introduction of national defense system and armaments, as well as strengthening Latvia within NATO and the EU.
"Of course, the National Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defense cannot rule out that this aggressive country may want to attack us. But we are working on all kinds of surprises to deter them. There is no need to panic over the interview with Arestovich. He warns us what Russia is like, and we understand that it will be aggressive in the coming years. We are ready and there is nothing be afraid of it," Pabriks emphasized.