Softening of attitude towards Russia's aggressive foreign policy only enhances regime's impunity - Kols

  • 2020-01-24
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - During Thursday's foreign policy debates at Saeima, the head of the Saeima's Foreign Affairs Committee Rihards Kols (National Alliance) said that softening of attitude towards Russia's aggressive foreign policy by some European countries has only enhanced the regime's impunity.

Kol said under President Vladimir Putin, Russia continues to pursue a revanchist and aggressive foreign policy. The approach is "aimed at destabilizing democratic nations, sowing distrust and distracting the public, while engaging in illegal military expansion and aggression," the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee said.

In some parts of Europe, "the easing of attitudes, despite Moscow's continued interference in other countries' internal processes (...) the Kremlin's crimes only increase the regime's confidence in its impunity," Kols said, suggesting that this situation may encourage other countries to do likewise.

As a challenge to parliamentary diplomacy, Kols cited the decision of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to restore Russia's voting rights. The politician emphasized that he is proud that Latvia opposed the decision.

He pointed out that what was going on in Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe showed a broader tendency for some Western countries to move closer in their relations with Russia and a "fatigue and apathy of the sanctions policy". Kols pointed out that this situation is a multilateral crisis.

Kols emphasized that the primary task of foreign policy is to ensure the continuity of Latvia's independence.

He also stressed that NATO remains the cornerstone of Latvia's security. The politician also called for an appropriate partnership with Turkey.

He also referred to China's growing geopolitical ambitions, while emphasizing its more sophisticated use of its soft power tools.