bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Friday 22.06.2018 | Name days: Ludmila, Laimdots, Laimiņš
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.

SRS uncovers numerous violations more than half of inspected companies

State Revenue Service’s Tax Control Office performed a total of 305 thematic inspections of employers in Latvia in Q1 2018. Authorities recorded violations in 171 inspections, according to information from SRS.

Third level pension plan deposit volumes reach new record value

Residents’ interest for pension savings remains high. The volume of deposits made to private pension funds in the first three months of 2018 has reached a new historic peak: a total of EUR 16.5 million has been paid to 3rd level pension accounts, which is 11.6% more when compared to the same period of 2017, as reported by Finance and Capital Market Commission.

Petrol station network in Latvia caught performing fraudulent activities with diesel fuel

State Revenue Service’s Tax and Customs Police have uncovered and put an end to a fraudulent scheme with diesel fuel performed by some network of petrol stations in Latvia, as confirmed by the service.

Kaimiņš: I believe CPCB is performing a political order

In the evening of Thursday, 21 June, Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau released three people previously detained as part of a criminal process regarding possible illegal funding of KPV LV party – Saeima deputy Artuss Kaimiņš, his colleague Atis Zakatistovs, and businessman Viesturs Tamužs.

Latvia’s parliament conceptually supports new sanction regulations

On Thursday, 21 June, Saeima supported in the final reading amendments to the Law on International Sanctions and National Sanctions of the Republic of Latvia that are meant to improve sanction regime regulations to ensure efficient application of national and international sanctions, as reported by Saeima press-service.

Storm in Tallinn floods streets, cuts Croatia-Argentina match short on TV

A rain storm has hit northern Estonia on Thursday, flooding some streets in the capital Tallinn, damaged buildings and badly affected the broadcast of an interesting World Cup game.

American banks tested for financial stress show positive results

The U.S. has performed banking stress tests and found that the 35 largest banks operating in the country have enough funds on hand to sail safely through a severe financial crisis.

Saeima fires judge for coming to work in a drunken state

On Thursday, 21 June, Latvia’s parliament supported the proposal to dismiss Rezekne Court judge Arvis Garais from his post. 71 deputies voted in favour, no one abstained and no one voted against.

UK to have three requirements to EU citizens willing to remain in UK

For citizens of the European Union willing to continue living in the UK after the country leaves the bloc, they will have to submit applications and answer three key questions over the internet, according to the country's interior minister.

Weather in Latvia to be rainy and cool during Ligo; next week’s weather to be dry and hot

Weather at the end of the week in Latvia will be dictated by a cyclone. Because of that, there will be instances of rain on Ligo. Weather is expected to improve next week, however, according to Latvia’s State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Lithuania’s blood plasma corruption scandal extends to Latvia

The former head of Lithuania‘s National Blood Centre, suspected of corruption and involvement in unlicenced activity, received more bad news this week from Latvia, where investigators of the Lithuanian Special Investigation Service had questioned the Latvian Health minister, Anda Čakša.

Administrative burden to be reduced for foreign students and researchers

The administrative burden will be reduced for foreign students and researchers, as well as all education and research institutions hosting them. This is provided by the amendments to the Immigration Law approved by the Saeima in the third reading on Thursday, 21 June.

Latvian Economy Minister endures no-confidence vote

Saeima declined opposition deputies’ request for dismissal of Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens.

Swedbank economist becomes new member of Bank of Latvia Council

On Thursday, 21 June, Latvia’s Saeima approved Mārtiņš Kazāks in his new post as member of Bank of Latvia Council, as confirmed by Saeima’s press-service.

Pope Francis’ visit to Latvia will be a national holiday

Latvia’s parliament has approved in the final reading a law that makes 24 September – the day Pope Francis plans to visit Latvia – a national holiday.

ICT specialist numbers in Latvia are below Europe’s average level

In Latvia, information and communication technology specialists form only 2.2% of all employed people in the country, which is considerably below the average level in the European Union – 3.7%. Romania and Greece are the only two EU member states in which the number of ICT specialists is below Latvia’s, according to European Commission’s DESI index.

Hungary adopts prison sentence for helping migrants

Hungarian National Assembly has passed a set of laws criminalising with prison terms some help provided to illegal immigrants by non-governmental organisations.

Harmony plans turning to Constitutional Court to prevent transition to Latvian language in schools

«Why should this reform stay unrealized? It is because schools are not prepared for cardinal changes coming from dozens of other reforms that have already shocked the country’s entire general education system,» says chairman of National Minority School Parents Forum and member of Harmony’s work group in Konstantīns Čekušins.

Deputies detained in KPV LV criminal case not declared suspects yet

Saeima deputy Artuss Kaimiņš and businessman Viesturs Tamužs detained in the criminal process regarding possibly illegal funding of KPV LV party have not yet been declared suspects. Both are currently in police custody. It is likely Kaimiņš will be released later today, 21 June.

Production of mines and grenades planned in Estonia

As the Estonian parliament has adopted new rules on military arms and ammunition production in the country, local defence firm Eesti Arsenal has voiced its plan to build a factory in Estonia to make military explosives.

Total tax debts in Latvia reached EUR 1.224 billion in June

At the beginning of June, total tax debts in Latvia, including topical, halted debts and extended repayment terms were equal to EUR 1.233 billion, which is 0.6% less compared to May, as reported by State Revenue Service.

Switch off internet nationwide during exams – Algerian approach

In an attempt to prevent cheating during secondary school exams, the north African nation Algeria, has turned off internet in its whole territory.

Control Service proposes kicking out shell companies as intensely as offshore companies

Shell companies in Latvia should be combated with the same intensity once shown to offshore companies, says chief of Anti-Money Laundering Service Ilze Znotiņa.

EU imposes tariffs on blue jeans, motorcycles and other U.S. export goods

The European Union will introduce retaliatory tariffs against U.S. exports on Friday, EU Trade Commissioner has stated a top official has stated in the bloc's reaction to Washington imposing steep duties on steel and aluminium earlier in June.

Latvia’s Saeima proposes improving job-combining rules for state officials

On Wednesday, 20 June, Latvian parliament’s Public Administration and Local Government Committee decided to submit for review amendments to the Law on Prevention of Conflict of Interest in Activities of Public Officials.