RIGA - The decision taken by Russian President Vladimir Putin to recognize the independence of Luhansk and Donetsk, the Ukrainian territories outside the government’s control, is a continuation of the attack on Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity that began in 2014 by unlawfully changing borders in Europe, said Latvian President Egils Levits, parliament speaker Inara Murniece (National Alliance), Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) and Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) in a joint statement on Monday.
The Latvian top state officials underscored that in a gross violation of international law, under a fabricated pretext, and by spreading false information, Russia seeks to induce a change in Ukraine’s political leadership and foreign policy course by violent means.
While utterly condemning Russia’s actions, Latvia urges the international community to take the strongest possible measures to stop Russia’s aggression and offer assistance to Ukraine.
"We call on the international community to action through putting in place robust economic sanctions against the Russian Federation and persons responsible for encroachment on Ukraine’s statehood," the Latvian officials said.
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the increasing presence of Russian armed forces in Belarus are bound to leave a long-lasting negative impact on the overall security situation in Europe. This calls for an appropriate NATO’s action towards the strengthening of security and defense on the eastern flank of the Alliance.
"We, the President, the Speaker of the Saeima, the Prime Minister, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, on behalf of the people of Latvia, stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and offer our unwavering support for Ukraine’s freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity," the statement goes.