RIGA - Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime is currently threatening the whole democratic Europe, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) told journalists in Brussels where he is attending a meeting of the European Council.
The Latvian prime minister said that when listening to Russia's news programs and Putin's televised speeches he got the impression that Russia is waging war against democracy and the entire Western world.
"We all are at risk, therefore we all are highly interested in stopping Russia's war machine," Karins said.
He indicated that one of the main topics to be discussed at the European Council meeting would be further sanctions targeting Russia's energy sector. In the prime minister's view, Europe must find a way to end its dependency on Russia energy, and this goal is consistent with the EU's Green Deal initiative, which envisages a transition to renewable energy and increasing energy efficiency.
Karins said that he would recommend partners moving towards serious sanctions on the energy sector, which is Russia's main source of income. At present, the sanctions might be imposed on oil and coal products. Europe must realize, however, that this will not be an easy decision, as several countries, including Latvia, are heavily reliant on Russian oil and natural gas.
Asked if he believes Germany might agree to the sanctions targeting the energy sector, considering that Germany is receiving natural gas via a pipeline directly from Russia, Karins said that the situation is very dynamic and unpredictable.
As reported, the European Council is meeting in Brussels this Thursday and Friday to decide on further steps aimed at isolating the Putin regime and supporting Ukraine.