RIGA - Within the army, there is no anxiety about the ability to defend Latvia's sovereignty, Lieutenant General Leonids Kalnins, the commander of the National Armed Forces (NAF), said in an interview with Latvian Television this morning.
He said that pessimism has not crept into the army and support from society is being felt as well. There is also great sympathy for Ukraine and a desire to support it as much as possible in the war against the aggressor Russia.
Kalnins emphasized that the strength of will and spirit is the key to success in protecting one's country and people. "No weapon systems will help, nor will a huge number of mobilized people, if there is no will in the people to defend those values that are crucial to ensure statehood and existence," said the NAF commander.
However, he expressed a slight regret that the number of new recruits in the army did not increase this year - they remained the same as last year. This year, 362 soldiers have been recruited, which gives the NAF the opportunity to fill the vacancies that have arisen as a result of retirement of military personnel.
Kalnins thinks that the army should find an opportunity to present itself to young people in a more friendly and engaging way, in order to create more interest in the military service and perhaps also "reorient their thinking". "Today's youth are much freer in their attitude towards the general values that prevail in our society," observed the NAF commander.