Latviski English По-русски
Friday 18.08.2017 | Name days: Liene, Helēna, Elena, Ellena, Liena

Colonel: economic state and lack of cohesion among residents are a threat to Latvia

(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU‘The only major difference between Latvia and Ukraine is our membership in NATO and the EU. However, like Ukraine, we are a post-Soviet country, we have multiple religious confessions, residents speak several languages and society shares diametrically opposing opinions about history and foreign policy. It seems we do share some problems,’ – says researcher of Latvian Institute of International Affairs, Colonel Raimonds Rublovskis.

‘Ukraine’s example demonstrates how quickly it is possible to destabilize the situation in an unstable society. I agree that internal security is an absolute priority for Latvia. The scenario of an attack coming from outside of Latvia is unrealistic. It is clear that the goal of such actions would be not just the conquering of the Baltic States, but also Russia’s attempt to challenge USA as a superpower and NATO’s main engine. Does Russia actually want to do this? NATO would have to respond in such a situation. A lack of response would mean the end for NATO. Article 5 – collective security and defence – is the core of NATO. Failing to comply with it would dissolve NATO. This is why I am very sceptical about talks that we should hastily strengthen our defences and protect ourselves from Russia. Our main threats are the lack of cohesion in society and the current economic state. People who live in poverty, cannot find jobs and are forced to leave the country also lose their idea about Latvia as a state. These people can be easily manipulated. I doubt they think of safety of the state all that much. If there are too many of such people and no actual middle-class, the country will have problems. Now – demography. If we do not have anyone to recruit to serve in the army or the police, there can be no such things as improving state security. Latvia is not populated all that much. Belgium and Holland have populations that reach nearly 30 million each. We only have roughly 2 million,’ – he told Latvijas Avīze in an interview.

‘In regard to threats: nowadays there is a larger emphasis on information war than there is on actual armed conflicts. Both Russia and USA are engaged in information wars. Latvia’s information and psychological campaign is rather weak, to be perfectly honest. We do not talk a lot about how the state valuable and that it should be defended. Instead, we have long talks about macroeconomic indexes and other complicated things that just alienate society. People are tired from these “stories of success” that they do not even feel in their daily lives.

It is the 21st century. There is no longer such a thing as “rear”. I am very sceptical about people who think and talk about delaying tactics, border skirmishes and other strategies popular in World War II. We just need to carefully analyse the situation in Ukraine and predict how Latvia would act in the same situation – what would armed forces, police and other security services do under similar conditions? […] Future warfare will be carried out in cities. There will no longer be frontlines, trenches or other things that were common for warfare some 50 years ago,’ – he said.

According to him, Latvia should not fear a possible military threat similar to one experienced in 1940, because Article 5 of NATO Treaty will defend Latvia. Not a single NATO member state can afford to ignore it. At the same time, the increase of NATO presence in Latvia is a double-edged sword. Geographically speaking, Baltic States are in the same position the German Federal Republic was during the Cold War. Everyone knew at the time – is there were to be armed clashes in Europe, they would take place in Germany. If NATO increases its presence in Latvia, Russia will increase its military presence by the border as well,’ – said Rublovskis.


Leave a reply

Kirsis asks police to assess possible forging of votes at Riga City Council

Riga City Council’s Unity faction chairman Vilnis Kirsis has asked State Police to check if the city council’s electronic voting system was used without another deputy’s knowledge or consent, said the politician.

Expert: attack in Spain shows how terrorists switched to more easily reachable targets

Terrorist attacks that transpired in Spain this week shows how terrorists have switched to more easily reachable targets, where security requirements are not as strict, says Latvian National Defence Academy’s Security and Strategic Research Centre researcher Martins Hirss.

New mandatory tests in schools to be introduced four years from now

In four years’ time – 2021/2022 school year – it is planned to introduce completely new mandatory tests in schools, as reported by State Education Content Centre Director Guntars Catlaks.

Nearly 9,000 children and their parents got homes thanks to state support programme

In the first half-year of 2017, state support helped 1,527 families in Latvia to buy homes. Compared with last year, families’ demand for state support has grown 6%, as reported by Altum finance institute.

Prediction: Aseradens will likely take control over Unity

Economy Minister Arvils Aseradens will become the head of Unity, Betsafe bookmakers predict. The possibility of Aseradens becoming the head of the party is given 45% probability by Betsafe.

Provisional estimate for next year’s fiscal space in Latvia is EUR 60 million

Next year’s fiscal space has been estimated at EUR 60 million, as noted by Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola, adding that a more precise estimate will be available at the end of August.

Reconstruction of Vilnius airport runway concludes; aircraft return to Vilnius

On Thursday, 17 August, Vilnius airport’s runway was festively opened. This was the most massive reconstruction for the airport in the past 20 years. It was a unique project for Lithuania and all of Europe, airport representatives say.

Islamic State terrorist group takes responsibility for Barcelona attack

The recent terrorist attack in Barcelona, in which a shuttle bus rammed a crowd of people on La Rambla, killing 13 and injuring at least 100, has become this week’s topic.

Weather in Latvia to be warm but rainy on weekends

The sun will appear every now and then between clouds on Friday, 18 August. Still, some rain is expected, especially in the afternoon in Latvia’s eastern regions, where thunderstorms may appear. Rain is expected to reach the capital in the afternoon. Wind will draw in from the south. Air temperature will reach +21° C… +26° C, according to State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Latvia’s export growth was moderately rapid in the first six months of 2017

Compared with the same period of 2016, Latvia experienced a moderately rapid export growth in the first six months of 2017, according to data published by Eurostat on Thursday, 17 August.

Latvia’s annual inflation in July was one of the highest in Europe

Inflation indexes in Latvia and the UK both reached 2.6% in July, which is one of the highest indexes in the European Union, according to data published by Eurostat on Thursday, 17 August.

Kirsis withdraws his candidacy in favour of Aseradens

Riga City Council member Vilnis Kirsis has decided to withdraw his candidacy from the race to become chairman of Unity in favour of a different candidate – Economy Minister Arvils Aseradens.

Rinkevics expresses Latvia’s interest in maintaining political consultations with Palestine

On Thursday, 17 August, Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkevics met with the leader of Palestine’s diplomatic mission in Latvia, ambassador Taissir Al Adjouri, to discuss mutual relations between Latvia and Palestine and the peace process in the Middle East.

Putin grins to the world’s seven billionth baby, Lithuania wary of border incidents

Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a visit this Wednesday to Kaliningrad, the westernmost point of Russia, but the reports about his trip in the Russian enclave and over the border in Lithuania were strikingly different.

Survey: red considered the safest colour for a car

Most Latvian drivers consider red to be the safest colour for a car. The most popular, however, is black, according to results of a survey by Virši-A fuel trader.

airBaltic’s number of carried passengers reaches a record in second consecutive month

Latvian airBaltic airline carried 393,312 passengers in July 2017, which is 21% more than the same period last year. The number of passengers carried by airBaltic remains the highest it has ever been in the airline’s history, BNN was informed by the company.

Brivais vilnis: nearly all fish processing companies are experiencing losses

Currently nearly all fish processing companies in Latvia are experiencing major or minor losses, says Brivais vilnis chairman Arnols Babris.

American helicopters to perform low-altitude flights within Latvia’s airspace

U.S. Air Force Brigade’s Task Force Phoenix helicopters, which are stationed in Latvia as part of Atlantic Resolve operation, will be performing low-altitude flights from 16:00 to 18:00 from Lielvarde to Dobele on Friday, 18 August.

Healthcare Ministry’s state secretary Karlis Ketners may be replaced

Latvian Healthcare Ministry may replace its state secretary Karlis Ketners. It is possible he will be transferred to work at Finance Ministry, as reported by LTV.

Suspects in Europe's insecticide egg scandal before Dutch court

In the Netherlands, two men have been in court in relation to the scandal of eggs containing banned insecticide that has caused an EU-wide health scare and cost millions of euros of damages.

Indian national with fake documents apprehended on Latvian border

An Indian citizen travelling from Moscow on a bus was caught at Terehovo border control point in Latvia for presenting officers a fake EU family member’s resident card. No criminal process was launched. The person returned to the country he was travelling from.

Latvijas dzelzceļš will not have to pay dividends from last year’s profits

The government decided on Wednesday, 16 August, that Latvijas dzelzceļš will not have to pay dividends from last year’s profits, which were EUR 880,998.

Latvian citizenship provided to 103 people

The Cabinet of Ministers has issued an order to provide Latvian citizenship to 103 people through naturalization.

Estonian Inbank's profits reach EUR 5.7 million in six months

Estonian financial services' provided Inbank made a profit of 5.7 million euros in the first half of 2017, which is a 429.4% increase compared to the respective period in 2016.

Agriculture Ministry invites residents to sign up for measures to support fisheries

From 21 August onward, Rural Support Service plans to start accepting applications for projects to receive support from European Maritime and Fisheries Fund’s action plan for development of fisheries in 2014-2020 as part of projects Innovation, Productive Investments in Aquaculture and Fishing and Aquaculture project processing.