"I would share their worries’ says Putin spokesman on fears of Ukraine scenario in Latvia

  • 2014-11-20
  • By Rayyan Sabet-Parry, RIGA

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s chief spokesman Dmitry Peskov (photo: BBC)

Russian President Vladimir Putin's chief spokesman Dmitry Peskov says he 'shares the worries' of Russians in Latvia following the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis.

The spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin was quizzed on whether Latvia's large Russian population could rise up and repeat a similar Ukraine scenario in the Baltic state.

"I would be ready to share their worries. What if someone orchestrates a coup d'etat in Latvia and Brussels acknowledges it just like that. It's a great danger," Peskov told the BBC.

"If a coup d'etat is orchestrated and they accept that new power,  it's a great danger for Latvia. Every country should protect its own interests."

Baltic officials have been on edge amid the crisis in the Ukraine fearing that a similar Crimea style scenario may be repeated in the region.  

The fears were downplayed by Latvia's foreign minister Edgars Rinkevics on Tuesday.  

"Russian warships are often seen in the Baltic Sea; we have also heard about the mysterious submarine in Swedish waters. Of course, all of this forces us to become more cautious, however, I see no reason to panic or get upset. NATO aerial missions and exercises guarantee us that no military provocation from Russia will follow," said Rinkevics.

"This is also an attempt to show NATO and the European Union that Russia still exists, and that it should be reckoned with," Rinkevics said.  

Peskov also denied Russia's involvement in the Ukraine despite accusations from NATO and EU officials Russian troops are on Ukrainian soil.

"There's some people who used to be military who are retired," Peskov told the BBC.

"I would like to remind you numerous statements by Putin saying very officially that there's no official Russian troops located on the soil on the Ukraine."

Commenting on NATO military exercises in the Baltics, Peskov said it made Russia nervous and it would protect its national interests.

"We'll continue to make it much more tense as far as our national interests are. The longer our national interests are in danger the longer we'll reply. his does not mean we want a cold war. We want our counterparts to understand we have red lines and we can't pass red lines and we expect our partners to understand where our red lines are."