Saeima Defence, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee has concluded work on amendments to multiple laws to further enhance national security. These amendments were originally proposed by President Raimonds Vejonis.
Amendments developed by the committee state – if the Cabinet of Ministers fails to fulfill its duties during war, the commander in chief appointed by the State President will take over the necessary functions and will lead the country’s defence. In order to secure effective cooperation of the government and the commander of national armed forces during war, the draft states that the commander in chief or his appointed representative will take part in government meetings as an advisor.
Currently, according to the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia and the National Security Law, prevention of threats to the state and overcoming of situations of war is the duty of the government. Changes were necessary in order to improve reaction capabilities in times of emergencies.
Amendments to the current regulation will enhance the duty of the defence minister, commander of national armed forces and military units to respond immediately to incoming military aggression. In the event of a sudden military attack, commanders of existing units within Latvia’s army are expected to commence defensive actions without waiting for the order to come down from a higher ranking authority. The commander of national armed forces is obligated to organize military defence and inform the defence minister of all actions and decisions. The defence minister is obligated to inform the state president, Saeima Praesidium and Prime Minister about all actions and decision made in accordance with the State Defence Plan, as stated in amendments to laws.
A definition has also been added to amendments, saying that war time begins once the enemy has carried out a military invasion or any other aggressive action aimed against the country’s independence, constitutional order or territorial integrity.
«Amendments to the laws were necessary in order to ensure a clear and unambiguous decision-making mechanism in the event of a military threat to make sure state officials and institutions can prevent threats to national security and independence more effectively. These amendments are especially important in the current situation, be the security situation in Europe has changed drastically. The same can be said about the definition of war,» – as explained by Chairman of the committee Ainars Latkovskis.