RIGA - Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) has called on people to revise their habits amid steeply rising consumer prices and to remember that the war in Ukraine is costing the lives of people.
In an interview to Latvian Television on Wednesday, Karins said that the tragic price of the war in Ukraine is people's lives and a vast destruction of the country's infrastructure. For the rest of the world, the costs of the war will be financial. The prime minister projected that energy prices will keep climbing, but said that the state and its people should remain calm.
Karins admitted that Latvia is rather dependent on Russian energy imports but that everything is being done to reduce this dependency as quickly as possible. Leaders of European countries are due to debate energy issues at a meeting later this week.
The prime minister said that it is important to realize that any expenses can be recovered in the future and that the Latvian economy continues to grow.
"The transition away from Russia must be continued and completed, because it is clear that there can be no hope for economic cooperation with a regime like the one in Russia. Let's forget that and refocus," the prime minister said.
He warned that energy prices will be very high next heating season but that the government has mechanisms to support households.
"We will not be able to compensate all costs... but we will be able to compensate an excessively steep increase if needed. Everything will become more expensive, we all need to think about our habits and consumption - how we can subsist more rationally on what we have," the prime minister said.
Karins said that fuel prices are likely to keep rising and that it will take time for the market to find the new price level.
"We cannot hope that the war which is taking place next to us will not leave an impact here. Let's be calm, rational and not listen to all sorts of rumors. Prices are going up, the rise will stop at some new level, which probably will be higher than it used to be. This means necessity to think about a change of habits," the prime minister said.