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Tuesday 22.08.2017 | Name days: Rudīte, Everts
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Vējonis and Lembergs have different opinions about NATO

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUIt seems that the times of unified views and mutual support between Aivars Lembergs and the Union of Greens and Farmers have passed. While Lembergs stated in his latest interview that the introduction of NATO forces would spell occupation for Latvia, the current Defence Minister of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis mentioned during the festive celebration of the 10th anniversary of NATO in Latvia at the Freedom Monument that Latvia is currently part of the most powerful collective security system there has ever been in the world.

The true power of NATO lies in the fact that no one in the world seems to want to find out if Article 5 of the Northern Atlantic Treaty Organization is actually in play and how effective it is, says the member of UGF.

‘We have all the reasons to feel safe and secure,’ – he mentioned at the Freedom Monument.

He also noted that Latvia’s membership in the world’s strongest military organization in the biggest achievement in the country’s history since the restoration of independence.

‘Our road to joining NATO is an excellent example of how it is only possible to achieve the most important goals through professional hard work and support from society. I would like to remind everyone that the achievement of this goal was far from easy. When we decided to join NATO, there were still the Russian army present in Latvia. There were also countries that questioned and protested against Latvia’s joining of the alliance. Many have already forgotten the scale of this foreign policy challenge,’ – Vējonis said in his speech.

Vējonis also expressed his gratitude to the politicians who were in power at the time and all those people who united to achieve a common goal. He also thanked Latvia’s partners who encouraged the country to join NATO ten years ago and since then have been sharing their knowledge and experience in keeping their countries safe.

‘I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to USA: Latvia’s friends in the U.S. Congress and Senate and American presidents whose support was very useful in this endeavour,’ – said the minister in his speech.

NATO is not an organization that is prepared to just repel any possible attack. NATO also performs preventive military operations to ensure peace wherever it is at risk, added the minister.

‘Latvian soldiers have participated in such operations. Latvia’s national armed forces are a part of NATO. Every Latvian soldier is a NATO soldier. However, security does not come cheap. Security requires sacrifice. Even for Latvia. Today, I would like to commemorate the soldiers who died in their line of duty: Edgars Ozoliņš, Andrejs Merkuševs, Voldemārs Anševics, Dāvis Baltābols, Vitālijs Vasiļjevs, Gints Bleija and Olafs Baumanis.’

‘In terms of historic similarities, when Latvia’s army achieved victory over Bermontian forces on November 11th, 1919, French and English battleships provided much needed support and contribution to the victory. However, there would not be any point to it if Latvia’s nation would not have been prepared to fight for its country. Latvia is as strong as the will of the people of Latvia to defend their homeland,’ – concluded the minister in his speech.

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