RIGA - NATO is taking the necessary steps to guarantee Europe's security, Latvian Ambassador to NATO Maris Riekstins said in an interview with TV3 on Wednesday.
Asked to assess the fears by some that a Russian attack on NATO in the future is almost inevitable, Riekstins noted that NATO has defined two main threats - Russia and terrorism - and accordingly, the necessary actions are being taken to strengthen security and implement NATO's new defense plans, which provide for the protection of member states "from the first minute and the first centimeter".
The Ambassador acknowledged that Russia's almost two years of war against Ukraine undeniably creates insecurity among people, but NATO is very aware of the risks and is taking the necessary actions to deter a potential attacker in the first place. So far, NATO's deterrence actions have always achieved their objective, stressed Riekstins, who believes that NATO's message to Russia is being heard now as well.
Riekstins stressed that there is a lot of propaganda coming out of official Russian channels, both internally and abroad, which aims to paint a picture that everything is supposedly fine in Russia, but abroad it aims to sow fear.
But this propaganda should not be believed, the diplomat stressed, citing as an example the theories about Russia's supposedly successful transition to a wartime industry. If Russia had such excellent military production, why is it still seeking help from North Korea and Iran, the Ambassador rhetorically noted, reminding that Russia's losses in men and equipment in the war are enormous.
We should not be complacent, but we should not panic, the Ambassador added.
On the future of NATO, Riekstins does not see the outcome of the US presidential election as a very big risk for the future direction of NATO, as past experience has not shown that under a different President US support for our security needs would be very significantly reduced.
In Riekstins' view, the latest decisions in Turkey show that everything is moving towards Sweden becoming a NATO member in the coming weeks.
However, it is still difficult to say who will be the next NATO Secretary General, as everything will be determined by an informal process of negotiations between NATO leaders.