RIGA - Latvia's experience and leadership will be crucial in the next steps the EU should make in order to overcome threats to democratic values, welfare and peace, said European Parliament president Roberta Metsola, addressing the Latvian parliament today.
Latvia is very well aware of whom we have to deal with, said Metsola, adding that Latvia's warnings about Russia had turned out to be right. We should fight for peace, freedom, justice and responsibility, the politician said.
Metsola said that Latvia is an example of how residents and politicians can join to resist brutal and autocratic force. Still, stronger EU solidarity is needed, especially when overcoming the energy and economic crisis. "If we do not act together and fast, then the steeply growing negative effects will influence welfare of EU businesses, households and residents," she said.
Political courage is necessary also to stand against the unjust, illegal and unacceptable Russia's aggression and attack on Ukraine - a sovereign European country, said Metsola. She said that the EU has swiftly introduced far-reaching and painful sanctions against Russia and Belarus, but more should be done. "We should continue to help Ukraine," she said.
Metsola also underscored that Russia should be held accountable for the war crimes, security in Latvia's border regions should be stepped up, and Ukraine should be helped financially and military, supplying tanks and anti-missile systems.