Latvia's Foreign Ministry has summoned Russian Ambassador to Latvia Alexander Veshnyakov after a politician in Russia said the Baltics and Poland would be 'annihilated'
Vladimir Zhirinovsky told Russian television channel Rossiya 24 that a decision to start World War Three had been already made and there would be consequences for the Baltics.
''Such comments are a clear confirmation to the Russian ruling elite's desire to renew the Russian empire," Latvia's foreign minister, Edgars Rinkevics said.
"This incident also shows that the European Union's sanctions and other measures against Russia in connection with Ukraine was the correct step to take and are completely justified. We will take these comments into account when we discuss with our NATO partners additional measures for the security of the Baltic states and Poland.,' the minister added.
Meanwhile, Poland has also summoned its Russian ambassador over the comments. Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said Zhirinovsky's remarks were "scandalous", the Polsat TV reports.
"Zhirinovsky represents the opposition, but he is neither a backbencher nor a private person," Sikorski said.
But Russian Ambassador to Latvia Alexander Veshnyakov said Zhirinovsky's views did not mirror Russia's official stance on the issue.
Russian embassy officials warned against 'pre election rhetoric' and accused Latvian government officials of making ''Russophobic'' comments in the past, LETA reports.
In 2013, Zhirinovsky, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, stated that the Baltic countries would be occupied or destroyed since they had dared to support the intervention of the Western countries in Syria.