NATO and the EU have guarantees that Russia will not risk direct military action against Latvia - new SAB director

  • 2022-02-10
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Latvia is a member of NATO and the European Union (EU), which to some extent is a guarantee and security that Russia will not risk direct military action against Latvia, said Egils Zviedris, the new director of the Constitutional Protection Bureau (SAB), in an interview with the magazine Ir.

"I think Russia is aware of its capabilities against NATO, because, as we know, an attack on one member state is an attack on NATO," said Zviedris, noting that the possibility of various cyber threats cannot be ruled out, because Russia has such capabilities.

Asked to assess the chances that Russia will invade Ukraine, Zviedris emphasized what is happening in Russia in the public sphere, where it looks like Russian society is being prepared for the escalation of the situation. "Whether this will be military in nature, I don't know. But in any case, there is a narrative of how the West and NATO's are bad guys who want to use Ukraine to limit Russia's interests. Yes, there is possibility of some sort of conflict, but the final decision is unknown at this time, even in Russia itself most likely outside a small group of people," added the head of the SAB.

The SAB director agreed that the time window for launching a major ground operation was relatively narrow: "A purely military factor must be taken into account when this type of attack is technically possible at all. One is the weather, the other is the readiness of troops to carry out such an intervention. All the parameters show that the so-called window of opportunity is quite limited. "

However, Zviedris has emphasized that Russia has already achieved the goals it wanted to some extent. "It has returned to the negotiating table - it is being talked with by the US, NATO, EU member states individually or together, but it is sending a message that its interests in Ukraine are to some extent related to economic relations with the EU," the official explained.

In turn, in the Latvian context, it is important that the public is provided with accurate information about the security situation, thus developing a critical understanding of what is taking place.

Zviedris notes that the bureau headed by him is paying close attention to the forthcoming Saeima elections. "It may bring some polarization of society. Therefore, it is very important not only to monitor, but also to record and respond appropriately to potential situations," the head of the SAB added.