Our armed forces must become larger - Levits

  • 2022-10-11
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - In the future perspective, the armed forces of Latvia must be increased, therefore the course started by ruling politicians is correct by committing to increase defense soending and introduce the National Defense Service, President Egils Levits told Latvian Television this morning.

Already on Monday, after the Russian missile strikes on Ukraine, he said that global support for Ukraine should be doubled, and that the latest bombings in Kyiv and other regions of Ukraine remove any doubt that Russia is a terrorist state bent on destruction and domination.

The president emphasized that the aid to Ukraine should be provided in such an amount that it would all but ensure Ukraine's victory. "We see that Ukraine is capable of defeating Russian troops, that Ukraine is capable of recapturing its occupied territories. We must give all the necessary help to Ukraine so that it can accomplish this, and as soon as possible. The sooner the war ends with the Russians withdrawing from the territory of Ukraine, the less victims there will be," Levits said.

When asked if Latvia still has something to give to Ukraine, but so that it does not lack something itself, the president answered that as long as Russia has concentrated most of its forces in Ukraine, the direct threat to Latvia is relatively smaller.

At the same time, the president urged to increase the Latvian armed forces in the future perspective. "Of course, Russia is now occupied in Ukraine, but after the end of the war in Ukraine, Russia will continue to threaten the free world, thus we must do everything for the defense of our country and the whole of Europe," Levits said.

Commenting on the threat of Russian nuclear weapons, the president admitted that "the situation is fragile, but not threatening." According to him, it would be important for Russia to expect some kind of success when using nuclear weapons, but it is clear that any attempt to use nuclear weapons will have catastrophic consequences for Russia itself, as US President Joe Biden has also promised

Levits also reiterated what he said earlier, that it is necessary to start forming an international tribunal in connection with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. According to him, in the future this could deter potential aggressor countries from similar actions.