RIGA - Latvia will have to fight hard to defend its interests concerning the European Union's climate policy matters, Agriculture Minister Didzis Smits (United List) said Thursday in an interview on Latvian Television.
The minister indicated that in all three segments under his supervision - farming, forestry and fisheries - there are going to be tough negotiations on how to implement the EU climate policy in the Baltics. The talks are expected to be less complicated on the fisheries segment though.
"It will be necessary to fight for Latvia's interests, so we can use our fields and forests as we are used to use them. When it comes to climate policy, we are an example to others, not a country that should do something more to become a nature reserve," Smits said, adding that forests already cover 52 percent of Latvia's territory.
According to the agriculture minister, the costs of the climate policy should be borne not by everyone equally but by those who pollute the environment. "Latvia is an example of how to be green, and we will have to fight for this. So that we have not only Slitere National Park but also agriculture, forestry and fisheries," Smits said.
The minister believes that Latvia should not comply with all EU regulations automatically but should insist on its own interests more actively. "Notwithstanding all the talk about EU solidarity, each country is fighting for its national interests," Smits said.