RIGA - People have to stop belittling Latvia as a small country that cannot influence international processes in any way, former Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis (Greens/Farmers) said during the foreign policy debates in Saeima today.
According to Kucinskis, the popular opinion that Latvia is a small country that cannot influence international developments has to be finally dispelled. Latvia being a small country means that, if need be, Latvia can quickly mobilize its inner resources and quickly arrive at innovative solutions.
2018 was a complicated year with increasing self-isolation trends, muscle-flexing, and doubting the importance of multilateral cooperation, said Maris Kucinskis. These same trends could also be observed in Latvia.
During the European Parliament election this coming May, agreement will have to be reached on what the future of the European Union will be. Kucinskis believes that Latvia, too, should decide whether it wants to be a country that builds walls or a country that moves on "with open heart and mind". There are challenges and threats that Latvia cannot deal with alone, he said.
Furthermore, Latvia has been urging its allies and partners to consider safety of information space and risks it may pose, and create such cooperation mechanisms that would protect residents from malicious external influence. This is proved by the fact that cooperation partners are interested in learning from Latvia's experience, and measures have to be taken on the European level to demand responsibility from social media and online platforms, said Maris Kucinskis.
Kucinskis also mentioned the financial sector, saying that Latvia's experience and mistakes should help solving these problems on the European level. Technological innovations have to serve to prevent the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing, said Maris Kucinskis.