Zile: Latvia still in grip of ’eastern neighbor’

  • 2014-06-03
  • from wire reports, RIGA

"Latvia may be a NATO and European Union member state, but we are still in the grip of our eastern neighbor", therefore, "Russia's influence over Latvia has to be lessened openly, immediately and with certainty", of this European Parliament deputy Roberts Zile (All For Latvia! - For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK) is certain.

Following a Greens and Farmers' Union's suggestion, the coalition is scheduled to review the issue connected with Zile's statement that appeared in the campaign advertisement: "We have to be aware of the fact that no NATO Article 5 will save us if we let ourselves fall into the grip of Russia, as it has happened before."

"NATO is helping us to guard our territory. Article 5 stipulates that an attack against one NATO member is an attack against all members. The situation is different with Russia's growing economic and political influence over our country," Zile explains, indicating that Latvia must preserve its economic sovereignty. He also says that if we look at the Ukrainian crisis, Russia has proved the world once again that it uses its natural gas as a political and economic weapon. Russian investments, on the other hand, clearly demonstrated their "stability" in Cyprus, Zile added, reports LETA.

"Latvia must learn from the mistakes of others, and this time of geo-political uncertainty is the right moment to enhance our energy-independence, speed up the integration in the European transport field and disassociate ourselves from unstable Russian investments," Zile says.

"Latvia is part of NATO and EU, thus, our geo-political direction is clear. On the other hand, we are in the political and economic clutches of Russia," Zile indicates, stressing that "Russia's constant influence over our energy and transport sectors, and the increasing investments in the economy and finance sector, are geo-political challenges for Latvia."