RIGA – Outgoing Foreign Minister Rihards Piks said that comments made last week by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, accusing Latvia and Estonia of violating democratic and human rights norms, were dangerous and bordered on "Cold War rhetoric, pressure and threats."
"This is a very dangerous sign that the Russian defense minister allows himself such rhetoric to aggravate the situation," Piks told reporters on Friday.
Piks said that the intense pressure being applied on the Baltic states was Russia's attempt to use the three countries as "an instrument for taking part in the EU affairs."
Ivanov said in a speech at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London that Russia saw the existence of countries that do not observe universally recognized democratic norms and human rights as a threat in Europe.
"Countries that distance themselves from democratic norms and human liberties will as a rule become sources of danger to their neighbors, because they tend to provoke military and political tension," Ivanov was reported as saying. "It is why I, as minister of defense, am forced to speak about the situation in Latvia, Estonia and some other countries in the alliance."
Ivanov said the Baltic' European partners should teach them the elementary principals of democracy and military transparency.