Baltic leaders condemn London terrorist attacks

  • 2005-07-08
  • TBT staff
RIGA- Within hours of the London terrorist attacks on July 7, which killed at least 50 people and injured more than 700, Baltic leaders expressed their condolences along with the rest of Europe and much of the world.

Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga sent an official letter to the British Prime Minister Tony Blair in which she expressed her deepest sympathies to England, the victims of the attacks and their relatives.

"We all stand by you in this moment of deep sorrow," wrote Vike-Freiberga.

In what appears to have been a co-ordinated terrorist attack, bombs went off on three Underground trains and a double-decker passenger bus during morning rush hour traffic in central London on July 7.

The capital's public transport system was halted as a high-level emergency procedure was put to action. All hospitals were full by mid-morning, and many of those injured by the bombings remain hospitalised.

The Estonian government also sternly condemned Thursday's attacks in a statement, saying it fully supported Great Britain in the struggle against international terrorism.

In addition, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip sent a personal message of condolences to Blair. The PM said he was deeply shocked and saddened by the outrageous acts of terror carried out in London, and that there was no justification for such attacks.

As the events of past years have shown, he added, no country or region can be considered immune from the threat of terrorism.

"The global community must give a strong and solid response to barbaric acts that are not tolerated by any civilized society," Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus stressed in a letter of condolences on behalf of the country.

Latvia went a step further than expressing their sadness over the tragedy. If necessary, the Baltic state is ready to assist the United Kingdom, the president's spokeswoman announced after a Crisis Management Council meeting.

Presidential spokeswoman Aiva Rozenberga said the meeting concluded that the situation in Latvia was stable and all responsible services were doing their work. But "as relations between countries grow increasingly intertwined, it is necessary after such tragic events to assess the situation in each individual country and make all efforts to avoid the reoccurrence of such events. That's why the security on Latvia's borders has been stepped up," she said.

Lithuanian and Estonian police have also begun strengthening vigilance since the attacks.

Lithuanian Police Chief Vytautas Grigaravicius has tightened security control over the state, schools, health-care establishments, foreign embassies, railway stations, trains, shopping malls, and other places of mass gatherings.

On Latvian citizen was injured during the attacks, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The ministry's spokesman, Atis Lots, said the victim had to spend the night in a hospital due to a minor "bruise to the head." The female, whose name was not disclosed, was released from the hospital on July 8

Residents are able to sign a condolence book at the British embassy in Riga in order to express their support for the victims in London. The book will be open for signing also on July 11 and 12 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.