RIGA - The crises in the world have made it clear that we live in a world that is made up of the "power of the fist" politics, the chairman of the Saeima's Foreign Affairs Committee Rihards Kols (National Alliance) said during today's annual foreign policy debate at Saeima.
"Parliamentary diplomacy is key to solving complex problems such as international terrorism, the refugee and migrant crisis, 'frozen' and 'burning' conflicts and institutional crisis - truly global problems that require a multilateral, comprehensive response," Kols said.
The chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee positively assessed the active position of the parliament in Latvia's foreign policy and welcomed the growing role and importance of parliamentary diplomacy in strengthening international peace and security.
Kols pointed out that parliamentary representatives in international organizations play a crucial role in advancing national interests in the international arena, influencing policy priorities, holding governments accountable and providing a stronger democratic foundation for promoting peace, cooperation and human rights around the world.
"The influence of the positions defined and publicly expressed by the national parliaments of the Baltic states, including Latvia, on the further development of events should not be underestimated," said the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, emphasizing the initiative of the Latvian and Lithuanian parliaments, which contributed to the adoption of the resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, in which Russia was recognized as a terrorist regime.
"The European Union's (EU) response to Russian military aggression depends heavily on effective sanctions, and the long-term legitimacy of the instrument itself depends on its enforcement," Kols said. The chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee emphasized that the implementation and enforcement of sanctions should become a matter of prestige and reputation in the EU member states, and ways must be found to ensure stricter and more uniform enforcement of sanctions.
The chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee emphasized the need to continue work on a special tribunal for investigating and punishing crimes of Russian aggression against Ukraine, as well as continuing participation in international legal proceedings against Russia for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by it in Ukraine. Kols emphasized the need to continue providing political, military, financial, humanitarian and economic support to Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression.
Among the foreign policy priorities, Kols also mentioned cooperation in both the Baltic States and the Baltic and Nordic (NB8) format. Kols called for the creation of synergistic or jointly created formats of regional cooperation between the Baltic States, Poland and the Nordic countries in the construction of common infrastructure, procurement of defense armaments and development of the military industry in order to sustainably strengthen the security of the region.
The chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee emphasized NATO as an essential guarantor of security and defense in Europe and expressed his support for EU initiatives aimed at expanding military mobility, response and cooperation.