In an interview in the Oct. 1 Neatkariga newspaper, Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs, speaking of the situation in Ukraine, says that in fact "civil war broke out between two nations in Ukraine."
"What happened in Ukraine? A civil war broke out between two nations. It is important not to allow such a situation here. It is in our interests to protect our external security as well," Lembergs said in listing the necessary measures in order to strengthen security.
"Latvia is part of NATO, and Article 5 protects us, however - legally! This article has not been tested in practice, and God forbid we should ever witness it; however, I believe that at the moment Latvia is becoming close to a front-line zone. To live within a front-line zone... is not very wise. People are usually evacuated from such zones."
Lembergs, who is PM candidate on the Greens/Farmers ticket in the coming election, criticized Latvian officials who stressed the need to increase the number of tanks and presence of NATO military units in Latvia.
"What will you do when an ethnic conflict emerges here? Will you allow a foreign army to turn against the civilians? I urge everyone to analyze these matters with an open mind, as each person's security and safety depends on his or her specific situation."
Lembergs believes that security matters in Latvia must be assessed from an individual perspective. "What is important to a person? Work is important. Pensions are important. Without jobs and pensions, a person is left with nothing. Thus, there needs to be a feeling of security that we will have access to all these items. Is health important? It is. We also have to be sure that we will receive qualified healthcare."
"Unfortunately, we are living in a multi-community, and we must admit it. Is it important that Latvians and people of Russian ethnicity live in peace? It is. It does not matter whether they are citizens or not, they must realize that Latvia is their only homeland they are fond of and respect," Lembergs said.