The Ambassador of Latvia to NATO: our biggest threats are the inflow of Ukrainian refugees and the outflow of our population

From Fort Russ

August 4, 2015
Translated by Kristina Rus
The Ambassador of Latvia to NATO, Indulis Berzins announced the list of the biggest threats to the country on the program “900 seconds” on the channel LNT.

Indulis Berzins, who previously held various government posts, entered the position of Ambassador to NATO last week. He shared his perspective about the security of the state on a TV program. The greatest threat is a huge influx of refugees from Ukraine. As the diplomat noted, he was warned about such a scenario by the experts involved in the Ukrainian crisis.

Additionally, Indulis Berzins said that a threat to Latvia is the pessimistic mood of its inhabitants, many of whom resent their country and move abroad. 

“If the citizens of Latvia will not agree that we need this state, it will create the greatest threat to the security of the country,” – the Ambassador said. 

He also noted that “a group of professional commentators appeared online, which rejects the transatlantic orientation of Latvia”.

Indulis Berzins added that “the most important thing now is to ensure the security of the entire region.” In his words, “the increased presence of allies in the Baltic States, including Latvia, would enhance security and would give a clear signal to any country, that would want to somehow interfere in our internal affairs”.

Speaking about the possible deployment of NATO bases in the Baltic States, the Ambassador said that “now we are working hard to implement the decisions of the Wales summit, not requiring a permanent presence of military forces of other countries of the Alliance in Latvia”.

At the same time, he said, “various military exercises and maneuvers conducted in Latvia, are the guarantor of the policy of containment”.

Indulis Berzins added: “This format does not involve the need for permanent bases. It involves provision of weapons, ammunition and arms, which is very significant — if the situation gets worse, the soldiers, coming over here, will not have to bring equipment.”

However, he stressed that “a permanent base of the Alliance was established in Latvia or the presence of allies was increased, it would only help its security”. At the same time a new envoy to NATO has recognized that there is no direct military threat to Latvia today.