RIGA - If not for Russia's invasion of Ukraine, businessman Uldis Pilens would probably not have engaged in active politics and would not have participated in founding the United List, Pilens told LETA.
Pilens has now agreed to run for the Latvian presidency. He believes that it was fair for him not to run in the last parliamentary election but to only promote the United List, which in his words would never have emerged if not for the war.
"I would not have engaged in politics and would be carrying on with my business. But the times are changeable, our responsibility is demanded, so my decision was to get actively involved in founding the United List, participate in the debates of candidate prime ministers and help the United List to participate in changing Latvia's policies so that they were more suited to the geopolitical situation, economic challenges and Latvian citizens' expectations," said Pilens.
Asked if it would not be possible for him to tackle Latvia's pressing problems as an MP, Pilens said that already agreeing to run for the office of president meant "putting aside everything he has been doing for the past 35 years". Pilens said that he is ready to change Latvia's policies as president.
"Perhaps, if not for Russia's war in Ukraine... I would not have ventured into politics, because economic issues can be tackled through leading by example, showing that it can be done better," Pilens said, noting that Latvia's economic underdevelopment, demographic and regional policy risks made him to look at all these issues from a different perspective and take a different approach to active political involvement.
As reported, Uldis Pilens, a businessman and founder of the United List, said on Tuesday that he has decided to run for the Latvian presidency.
Pilens is the first candidate to announce his bid ahead of this year's presidential election, which will take place in May. Incumbent President Egils Levits has yet to reveal whether he will be running for reelection.