Interview with the President of Latvia opens the Riga Security Forum 2023

  • 2023-11-02
  • LIIA

The Riga Security Forum, organised by the Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA), opens with a conversation with the President of Latvia, H. E. Edgars Rinkēvičs. In a discussion moderated by Dr. Edijs Bošs: "Whose rule-based order and security vision are we talking about?", the President emphasises the importance of international security and analyses the different visions of international organisations, countries, and regions on global security. 

Analysing Latvia's security in the context of the current geopolitical situation, President Edgars Rinkēvičs stressed that there are no significant security concerns and Latvia is doing everything necessary to strengthen its security, also emphasising Latvia's need to enhance its economic competitiveness: "We have done our homework. Now, the most important and biggest task is (to understand) how to break certain barriers within ourselves and how to move forward with the breakthrough of the country's economic development. Economic competitiveness is, to a large extent, the basis of our security." 

As for the methods of dealing with global security threats, the UN's ability to control relations between member states was criticised: "The UN (United Nations) Security Council and its whole system reflects 1945, not 2023. The veto is being used in the context of Syria, Ukraine and now Israel," commented the President of Latvia. 

However, the President distinguishes that there are areas where the UN as a system is functioning effectively: humanitarian aid is being provided, and peacekeeping is performing well in several areas.

The Riga Security Forum brings together international experts in security, politics, technology, education, and defense. In a series of ten freely available podcast series, the Forum's speakers will explore issues of global significance through political self-reflection and, by answering uncomfortable questions, strengthen mutual understanding in building a safer future. This year's theme is "How European is European Security?".

A new audio and video episode will be published in English and Latvian every Tuesday for two months, starting October 31 to the end of December. The conversations will be held on two levels, touching on both the "traditional" or conventional dimensions of security and the "unconventional" or non-conventional security challenges. 

The next episode, "The US cannot afford to protect the EU. Why does the EU need protection?" will be discussed by Prof. Przemysław Piotr Żurawski vel Grajewski, Advisor of Foreign Minister of Poland, and Michael Kimmage, Ordinary Professor and Chair Department of the Catholic University of America, and moderated by Reinhard Krumm, Director of FES Baltic States. The next episode will be available on November 7.

The conversation with Edgars Rinkēvičs, President of Latvia in English - 

The discussion is also freely available on the website, on the LIIA social media accounts, and on Apple and Spotify platforms. 

The project is the result of a successful collaboration between the Latvian Institute of International Affairs, NATO Public Diplomacy Department, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Baltic States, Embassies of the United States, Poland, Canada, Spain, and the Netherlands in Latvia, as well as international defence, security and aviation lifecycle support services, pilot training and technology solutions provider Patria, Riga Graduate School of Law and 5G Techritory platform.

The Riga Security Forum's information partners are "The Baltic Times", Latvian unified news portal,, and TV4 Latvija.