Latvia is safe and NATO's eastern flank will be further boosted - president

  • 2022-03-09
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Despite the war started by Russia in Ukraine, Latvia is safe, and NATO has decided to further strengthen the Alliance's eastern flank, President Egils Levits said in an interview with TV3 channel Wednesday. 

The president noted that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and other leaders of NATO member states who visited Latvia this week reaffirmed the commitment to protect the whole NATO territory and defend "every centimeter of each member state". 

Levits underlined that NATO, of which Latvia is a member, is the world's strongest defense organization. 

The president said that security has to be further reinforced, which is why NATO is strengthening its eastern flank, which means more troops, better weaponry and higher readiness of the armed forces. 

Levits is confident that NATO is united, and although there have ben discussions on some aspects, the Alliance has always been able to come to a common agreement. 

"Russia is brutal, but not strong and mighty," Levits said, adding that Ukraine, by contrast, is highly motivated to defend itself, which is why Russia is unable to win the war and therefore becomes increasingly brutal.

Most importantly, it is necessary now to provide support to Ukraine, which is ready to defend its country, and NATO is providing this assistance, Levits said. 

Commenting on Western sanctions on Russian, Levits said that they are already working, as a result of which the Russian financial market has practically collapsed. There are still some possibilities to step up the sanctions, for instance, by targeting Russian oil, gas and coal. I think that Europe will take this decision soon, Levits said. 

Asked what should be done to put Russian dictator Vladimir Putin in the dock at The Hague so he can be called to account for war crimes at the International Court of Justice, Levits said that this is a question about physically bringing him to the court, which currently appears to be hard to do, but that it is important to condemn the Moscow regime at least formally.