RIGA - Latvia's support for Ukraine over the past almost two years is an example for the entire Western world, emphasized Foreign Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity), opening the annual foreign policy debate at Saeima today.
He stressed that war has returned to Europe. A year and 11 months have passed since Russia unprovoked brutally attacked Ukraine with the aim of destroying it as a state. In Karins' view, this is an imperialist war whose broader aim is to change the international order based on the rule of law and replace it with brute force and power.
The Foreign Minister pointed out that Russia is currently trying in every possible way to tell both Latvia and the rest of the Western world through its propaganda that we are divided, powerless, Russia's war is going ahead, it will win and there is no point in resistance.
"This is lies and nonsense. We are neither divided nor powerless, as they try to tell us. Latvia stands with its Western allies. It is in our power to help Ukraine win this war and Ukraine can win. It needs our undivided support. It is also possible to restrain Russia after the war so that it never attacks anywhere else in Europe," said Karins.
He added that a wider war in Europe is not inevitable, but it is within our power to stop it by strengthening our security together with our Western allies. Karins called on people not to listen to Russian propaganda, to be confident and sure of themselves.
Listing Latvia's foreign policy objectives, the Foreign Minister stressed that undivided support should continue to be provided to Ukraine so that it could win the war being waged by Russia. Latvia's civil society "admirably and very actively" continues to send concrete assistance to Ukraine, Kari pointed out.
The politician noted that Latvia has devoted about 1 percent of its gross domestic product in support for Ukraine, which also shows that you do not have to be rich, but you have to be willing to help. The West should also maintain its firm policy on sanctions against Russia. Karins also stressed the role of the European Union (EU) in relation to Latvia. The politician welcomed the fact that Moldova and Ukraine have been invited to the EU accession talks and stressed that Latvia supports EU enlargement. A larger EU opens up huge opportunities for our exporters and will benefit Latvia's economy, he said.
The Foreign Minister also stressed the need to stand up for fundamental values such as democracy and the rule of law, which are particularly important for smaller countries.