bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Saturday 18.11.2017 | Name days: Doloresa, Aleksandrs
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

NAF: Russia’s attitude remains unfriendly towards Latvia

So far Russia’s demonstrated attitude has remained unfriendly towards Latvia, said Commander of Latvian Armed Forces Leonīds Kalniņš in an interview to LNT.

Lembergs’ turn to testify before parliamentary committee has come

Aivars Lembergs, who is accused of serious crimes and is suspended from performing duties as chairman of Ventspils City Council, has been invited to come to a meeting of the Saeima’s Investigative Committee and answer questions associated with so-called oligarchs case.

How Latvian communities around the world plan to celebrate Latvia’s birthday?

«Celebration of independence of the Republic of Latvia is an important tradition that allows members of Latvia’s diaspora to maintain ties with their homeland – this year’s event will be even more expansive and inclusive than ever before. This is because events associated with the country’s hundredth birthday will be organized all around the world,» says manager of World Federation of Free Latvians office in Latvia Jānis Andersons.

European Parliament triggers punitive procedure against Poland

Members of the European Parliament have passed a resolution requesting for the application of the so-called «nuclear option» for Poland, Article 7 of the EU Treaty, because of the threat to the rule of law in the biggest Eastern European country.

Wage rules violations most often associated with envelope wages

To promote public awareness and improve commercial environment, honest competition and honest compliance with taxes, Latvia’s State Revenue Service intends to expand its database with new information about taxpayers, BNN was told by SRS.

Management of Unity’s Saeima faction to change in December

«Political consultations with all of Unity’s partner parties that are represented in the Saeima’s faction have concluded. An agreement has been reached to perform management change before the end of Saeima’s autumn session – around 21 December,» says Unity’s chairman Arvils Ašeradens.

EP prepared to commence talks with EU governments on reforming asylum system

The European Parliament is prepared to commence talks about reforming Dublin Regulation to ensure every member state is able to resettle a portion of asylum seekers.

Estonia to pour into Finnish-Estonian cultural fund 700 000 euros

Estonian cabinet of ministers has decided to attribute 700,000 euros to the Finno-Estonian Cultural Fund, an organisation working since 2015 aimed at fostering cooperation between the two states in culture, creative economy and training both for individuals and organizations.

Russia in UN vetoes extension of Syrian chemical attack investigation

At the UN Security Council, Russia has used its veto powers to block a resolution with which it would be allowed to continue the international investigation into a chemical attack this spring in Syria, which prompted the U.S. to launch missile strikes on a Syrian airbase.

Latvia’s birthday expected to be windy

A precipitation zone will reach Latvia from the west on Friday, 17 November. The precipitation zone will, however, pass over Latvia quickly, making rainfall short and periods of clear sky more frequent and longer. Air temperature is expected to stay within +5° C… +8° C, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

State of emergency in force in flood-hit Greece

Rescue services in Greece are looking for no less than five people, who have gone missing following unexpected and disastrous floods on Wednesday, November 15, that killed 15 people; however, bad weather is still expected.

Laupīšanas 101 director: Latvia’s film industry has yet to reach its potential height

There is sufficient evidence to prove that Latvia’s film industry is capable, but at the same time many films are directed basically the same way. There is a lack of creativity, which means very slow development for the industry, said Kaspars Marhlevičs, director of short comedy Laupīšanas 101, in an interview to BNN.

Medical cannabis bill paves way in Lithuanian legislature

Otherwise conservative Lithuania has made a big stride forward legalising cannabis for medical use with 92 Lithuanian parliamentarians voting Thursday, November 15, to open the bill draft on medication containing cannabis. The law draft should go back to the parliamentary floor for deliberations on December 12.

Latvian sentenced to ten years in prison for fighting on the side of ISIS in Syria

On Thursday, 16 November, Latvian citizen Mārtiņš Grīnbergs was sentenced by Riga Regional Court to ten years and three months in prison for fighting on the side of Islamic State terrorist organization.

European Parliament: Africa’s development requires a new stimulus

To resolve economic, social and migration-related problems, which usually accompany lasting crises, better African-EU cooperation is needed, European Parliament members say.

Latvian Chamber for Commerce and Industry proposes preventing new MPC reforms

Increase of mandatory procurement components cannot be allowed. Exactly the opposite – this cost should be dropped entirely for end electricity prices in an attempt to improve international competitiveness of companies, BNN was told by council members of Latvian Chamber for Commerce and Industry.

Matīss: LDz cannot raise tariffs and perform rail electrification under cargo anti-record

Because Latvijas dzelzceļš has set an anti-record in cargo transports in the first ten months of this year, Saeima deputy and member of the National Economy Committee Anrijs Matīss says raising the fee for the use of infrastructure cannot be allowed. He adds that the intended railway electrification project should be considered very carefully.

Lithuania and Latvia placed in top 10 in climate policy index

In the annual Climate Change Performance Index, where climate policy action in 57 countries has been evaluated, on a scale from «very high» to «very low», 11 EU member states have been evaluated with as having been highly active, with Sweden showing the best results ahead of Lithuania, the UK, Finland and Latvia.

Bite Latvija buys Stream Networks and Latnet

Mobile commutations operator Bite Latvija has signed a purchase agreement for 100% of shares of Stream Networks and its subsidiary Latner Serviss, as BNN was informed by Bite manager in Latvia Kaspars Buls.

airBaltic carried three million passengers in first ten months of 2017

In the first ten months of 2017, airBaltic carried a total of 3,007,034 passengers to destinations in Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East, BNN was told by the company.

Kaljulaid sees African opportunities to outplace EU in digitalisation

During a visit to Ethiopia, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid has discussed African-EU relations with the African Commissioner for Trade and Industry and recommended investing into digital development that would be beneficial for the continent itself.

Most employed people in Latvia are satisfied with their jobs

More and more often employers experience lack of qualified labour force, as well as increase of employees’ confidence about their competitiveness on the labour market and their openness for better job offers.

Estonian railways operator happy about increasing freight volume

Freight carried on the infrastructure of the Estonian state railway company Estonian Railways in October amounted to one million tons, which is a 10.4% hike compared to October 2016.

European Parliament: rule of law in Malta should be monitored more closely

Malta should strengthen the rule of law and the European Commission should follow the situation in the country more closely to ensure objective protection of rights, members of the European Parliament say.

Greece hit by sudden, disastrous floods

Towns in central Greece have suffered severe damages as unexpectedly heavy rain caused floods on Wednesday, November 15, taking the lives of no less than 15 people.