New interior minister will have to come up with medium-term and long-term solutions for Ukrainian refugees - Karins

  • 2022-05-26
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The task of the new interior minister will be to offer medium-term and long-term solutions for Ukrainian refugees, said Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) at the Saeima debate today.

He said that initially there were hopes that the war in Ukraine could end in three months, but now it is clear that it will take longer, therefore Latvia should consider ways to help Ukrainian refugees in a longer term, especially those who may not join the job market, for example, about 5,000 children who have enrolled in Latvian schools.

Karins also said that during the present crisis it is very important to keep a stable government.

As reported, Saeima today approved deputy head of the State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) Kristaps Eklons, nominated by For Development/For as the new interior minister.

Eklons told LETA earlier that he plans to continue the work started by previous interior minister Marija Golubeva (Development/For) and to promote his own initiatives as far as possible.

He said that he agreed to run for the post of interior minister because of several including private reasons. One of these reasons is his conviction that security requires closer attention. His regular communication with Ukrainian colleagues led Eklons to realize the importance of a country's internal security in the context of overall national resilience.

The ministerial candidate said that the State Fire and Rescue Service had had very good cooperation with the previous interior minister and a clear roadmap with specific tasks, but that many of these projects remained unfinished, for instance, construction of a new fire station. As a minister, Eklons will therefore prioritize the projects started by Golubeva and will come up with his own initiatives.

Eklons believes that Latvia needs to develop comprehensive internal security system through strengthening civil protection. While meeting with Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) on Monday, Eklons was reassured that the prime minister sees the flaws and shortcomings of the civil protection system is ready to strengthen this area.

Eklons is also aware that he will be a minister "without money", because the interior sector's budget for this year has already been approved, but he indicated that apart from finances there are also other tools like administrative resources that can be used to develop the interior system.

Eklons also revealed that Daiga Holma, who used to head Golubeva's office, and the Interior Ministry's parliamentary secretary Martins Steins (Development/For) will stay on also in his office.

Asked if he plans to join Development/For and run in upcoming parliamentary elections in the fall, Eklons said that his nomination for interior minister had been so sudden that he did not event have time to consider these matters.

LETA also reported that the National Alliance demanded a resignation of Interior Minister Marija Golubeva following events at the monument to Soviet soldiers in Riga's Pardaugava on May 9 and 10, threatening that the National Alliance will leave the government if she remains in the position. Golubeva announced her resignation afterwards because she had lost support of the prime minister, she said.