RIGA - There is currently no cause for panic in Latvia after Russia's sudden invasion of Ukraine, but Latvia will demand NATO for an immediate increase of its presence in the Baltic states, says Latvian Minister of Defense Artis Pabriks (For Development) and the Ministry of Defense.
In regards to the National Armed Forces (NAF), "everything is at the appropriate level", Latvia does not currently have any additional threats and the army is in control of everything, Pabriks told LETA.
There is no immediate military threat to Latvia, as a significant part of the Russian forces stationed around Latvia are currently being used to attack Ukraine, but this does not mean that we can relax, Pabriks said in a press release.
The Ministry of Defense confirms that the NAF is ready to react to any threat scenarios if the security of the Latvian population and the sovereignty of the state will be threatened. Latvia keeps track of any military changes and exchanges information with its allies.
At the beginning of February, Pabriks issued an order to the NAF to plan and implement an enhanced security situation monitoring operation at the country's external border, as well as to set an increased readiness time for the NAF, including the Home Guard.
Pabriks said that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia's leading elite had violated all international law and launched an aggression against an independent and freedom-loving nation.
"I would compare it to some extent with the USSR's aggression against Finland in 1939, when everything was based on profound lies. Now the main thing is to have a strong reaction by the free world to the Russian invasion - maximum economic and political sanctions, and maximum support for Ukraine," the Minister emphasized.
A press release issued by the Latvian Ministry of Defense states that Latvia will immediately demand the support of the international community and allies to strengthen security in the region and deter Russia from aggression. "Latvia will demand that NATO allies immediately strengthen their presence in the Baltic states, both by increasing the number of soldiers and by filling the most significant gaps in national defense capabilities," Pabriks emphasized in the statement.