bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Ceturtdiena 24.08.2017 | Name days: Boļeslavs, Bērtulis
LatviaLatvia

Vejonis: the west has made a mistake in assessing Russia by its standards

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUWestern countries have failed to assess Russia’s behaviour toward other countries in a correct way. This is because Russia’s development relies solely on internal development dynamics. This is why it is important to maintain a strong position and support from allies in the Baltic Region, said Latvian Defence Minister Raimonds Vejonis during a discussion held at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

Vejonis opened the discussion by saying that Latvia has learned multiple valuable lessons in its history. «First and most important lesson – democratic values are valuable not only for securing individual freedom, but also for defending our country’s independence,» – he said.

During the conversation about the security situation in the Baltic Region, Vejonis emphasized that even though Russia’s words do not comply with actions, the west believed there would be positive changes in Russia «It was our biggest mistake: to have assessed Russia in accordance with our standards,» – said the minister.

«We have made a mistake by ignoring the fact that Russia develops based solely on its own ideology. Its economy depends on raw materials, especially energy. This is why it is necessary for Russia to demonstrate military victories, which is something we have seen in the last couple of years.»

«Russia’s aggression in Ukraine is a clear signal of the country’s intentions to review the borders that formed at the end of the Cold War,» – said Vejonis. «This is the second time in the last five years when Russia has used military force against a sovereign country that had been a member of the Soviet Union.»

Latvian Defence Minister believes that Russia has become a long-term problem, as no changes in its internal policy and its behaviour in terms of foreign policy are expected to come in the near future. «With that, I see two large challenges in relation to Russia. The first one is the development of our ability to maintain a good level of security and compliance with international security commitments we have taken. The second challenge is the development and adoption of a long-term policy toward Russia,» – said Vejonis.

«We now know Russia can be held back using different means. First of all it is our ability to oppose aggression. Secondly, there are our allies, especially USA. Their presence in the Baltic Region can help ensure security. Thirdly, we need to deepen our understanding of Russia’s behaviour. All of these components can serve as good means to oppose aggression in our region,» – said Vejonis.

Latvian Defence Minister noted that hybrid wars are nothing new for Latvia: «We have been experiencing Russia’s hybrid war tactic for years. Russia has been trying to prevent integration processes in Latvia since the restoration of independence by using propaganda, financing different NGOs and using other means to influence people’s minds in order to sow distrust in the country.»

Vejonis mentioned multiple aspects that can help oppose symptoms of hybrid wars: «First of all, it is important to keep in mind that uncertainty of the situation is the main requirement for success of a hybrid war campaign. This is because such situations have too many uncertainties and questions. Secondly, we need to be able to identify and analyse problems. We need to know our own weak spots, flaws and vulnerabilities in order to avert uncertainty. Thirdly, strategic communication is immensely important, because it can help save our people’s hearts and minds from hateful influence even before a military conflict breaks out.»

During his meeting with Latvian communities in Washington on April 19th, Vejonis emphasized the role USA plays in ensuring safety of Baltic States. «Latvian diaspora has worked hard in USA in order to ensure Latvia’s admission in NATO. Now I would like to ask you to be more active and try to convince American politicians that it is necessary to ensure presence of American forces in Baltic States,» – said Vejonis in his speech to Latvians in USA.

On Monday, April 20th, Vejonis met with Senator Roger Wicker in order to inform him about developments and challenges in Latvia’s defence system. The minister thanked the senator for the contribution by USA to Latvia’s protection and asked him to continue supporting proposals related to the presence of American troops in Baltic States.

The senator was curious about Latvia’s defence budget and noted that its increase would play a major role in not only strengthening Latvia’s defensive capabilities, but also in securing support from its allies. Matters related to Latvia’s internal security were also discussed during the meeting, as well as steps necessary in order to improve NATO reaction abilities.

«The Latvian government understands the seriousness of the current geopolitical situation. We have decided to increase our country’s defence budget to 2% of GDP by 2018. Funding will be used to develop defence capabilities of our national armed forces and provide support to our allies’ troops currently present in the country,» – said Latvia’s Defence Minister.

Ref: 102.109.109.9894


Leave a reply

  1. Linda says:

    That assessment has always been the problem of the civilised world … to assess others by the civilised world standards and not to take into account the slowness of some countries to enter the club of civilised nations.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Expert: pressure on cost increase in the near future will be enormous

Pressure on the increase of costs in the next several years will be enormous, and there are worries about the government’s ability to withstand that, said Fiscal Discipline Council’s member Andzs Ubelis in an interview to 900 seconds programme.

Lithuanian President kicks off initiative to bring Lithuanian emigrants home

In another attempt to stem high emigration, Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė along with Jurgis Didžiulis, a hip Lithuanian singer of Columbian descent, launched a new initiative, «Choose Lithuania», aiming to slow down exodus.

NMPD Director Sarmite Villere to step down

Sarmite Villere, director of Latvia’s Emergency Medical Service, has decided to step down from her post, says NMPD representative Inga Vitola.

Antane admits the situation with Latvia’s transit industry is tragic

Baltic Association – Transport and Logisics President Inga Antane describes the situation with Latvia’s transit industry as tragic. Cargo volume decline has been continuing since 2012. Antane also mentions that, looking at the recent past, 2016 was one of the worst in Latvia’s transit history, Antane said in an interview to RigaTV24.

Daugavpils party decides to leave coalition shared with Harmony

Daugavpils political party Mūsu partija, in which Rihards Eigims is the leader, has decided to leave the established coalition with Harmony in Daugavpils City Council.

Pulks: lunches in Riga’s kindergartens should be free

Riga City Council’s Unity faction leader Olafs Pulks has sent a letter to the city council’s Education, Culture and Sports Department’s Director Guntis Helmanis, asking him to immediately perform calculations and prepare proposals for Riga’s budget project for 2018 to secure free lunches for all children of the capital’s kindergartens.

Study: poor households will gain very little from the tax reform

Poor households will gain very little from the recently approved tax reform. There is a large number of unemployed people who will not the change with PIT, according to results of a study performed by Stockholm School of Economics in Riga and economic policy research centre Biceps.

Puce: either Kucinskis has a memory like a goldfish, or he doesn’t take his own words seriously

Political party For Latvia’s Development invites Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis to prove the promise he once gave to Latvian taxpayers to not change taxes in the next three years. This invitation was extended, considering information that was voiced at the 22 August meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers in relation to the search for ways to expand fiscal space.

Brivais vilnis: grey economy’s presence in fishing industry may be 40%

The total proportion of grey economy in Latvia’s fishing industry may be around 40%, says fish processing company Brivais vilnis chairman Arnolds Babris.

SRS: violations uncovered at restaurants mostly associated with illegal employment

Most of the violations uncovered by Latvian State Revenue Service during inspections at restaurants in Riga and Jurmala are associated with illegal employment and non-declaration of revenue, said SRS Director Ilze Cirule in an interview to Rīta Panorāma this morning 23 August.

Europe commemorates victims of Nazism and Stalinism

Nine years ago, MEP Inese Vaidere and four of her foreign colleagues accomplished that the European Parliament officially approved and issued a written declaration on declaring 23 August the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of European Stalinism and Nazism.

FCMC allows Latvian Central Depository to function as service provider

Finance and Capital Market Commission has decided to allow Latvian Central Depository to start providing services as a central securities depository starting from 18 September.

Without cheap labour, Liepaja prison construction may take a while

Because projects submitted by different construction companies for Liepaja prison exceed the funding that is available for the project, it is planned to cease the procurement. A new one will be announced soon, said Justice Ministry’s state secretary Raivis Kronbergs after a government meeting on Tuesday, 22 August.

Sudraba claims KNAB investigated oligarch case to the maximum extent

Investigators of the so-called oligarch case, which continue working at the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau, performed their work responsibly. Information leak during the investigation, on the other hand, had impacted the investigation considerably, said head of the parliamentary investigation committee Inguna Sudraba as a visit to KNAB.

Survey: 43% of internet store users purchase something once a month

Overall, Latvian consumers are satisfied with the purchases they made on internet stores. 65.3% of respondents believe internet stores are safe and reliable. 44.7% of respondents say they have never had any problems when shopping on the internet, according to results of a survey performed by Gudriem.lv.

Government establishes prohibition to wear face-concealing clothes in public

On Tuesday, 22 August, Latvian government supported Justice Ministry’s proposed legislative draft on restrictions for face-concealing clothes, which prohibits residents from wearing such clothes in public places.

Experts explain why a teenager’s «I don’t know» is so dangerous

Most often we say things like «I don’t know» because we are afraid of making choices. Reaching their teens, youngsters become more independent, and the inability to make responsible decisions and say «no» can have serious consequences, says psychologist Sabine Vilcina and youth motivation programme «MOT. Izvēlies drosmi!» manager Ilze Paidere-Stake.

Traders: following VAT decline, prices of goods will decline as well

Latvian Association of Food Traders supports Agriculture Ministry’s proposal to reduce VAT rate for food and separate food product groups. Traders confirm that this step will also reduce food product prices in stores.

The most major risks and solutions for real estate purchase and rent with option to buy

To acquire housing in one’s property, often residents use rent with an option to buy. Sworn attorney Zanda Zaluma of Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns shares advice resident should keep in mind when signing real estate contracts.

Finance Minister: businessmen will be forced to pay larger wages

The current market situation shows that Latvia should speed up its education reform and think about attracting additional human resources from other countries, said Latvian Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

Latvia to procure Stinger anti-air missile launchers

A mutual contract has been signed between Latvian Defence Ministry and Danish Defence Ministry for the procurement of anti-air missile launchers used by the Danish armed forces, as confirmed by Latvian Defence Ministry.

Oil prices and stock exchange indexes decline in Europe

On Monday, 21 August, oil prices declined. Exchange indexes in USA increased slightly, whereas exchange indexes in Europe declined because of concerns over the policy implemented by the administration of US President Donald Trump.

Terrorists in Barcelona were planning three explosions

Terrorists, who performed two attacks in Catalonia last week, were initially planning to blow up three shuttle buses in crowded areas in Barcelona, as reported by El Espano.

Lawyer: Maxima wants to earn by reducing compensations for the tragedy

Maxima Latvija and Zolitude 21.11 have reached an agreement on payment of EUR 900,000 to support victims of Zolitude tragedy – EUR 5,000 to EUR 75,000 to each person, as reported by Maxima Latvija.

Producer prices in industry in Latvia grew 0.4% in July

Compared to June, the level of producer prices in Latvian industry rose by 0.4 % in July 2017. The prices of products sold on the domestic market increased by 0.5 %, whereas the prices of exported products grew by 0.3 %.