On Tuesday, 26 January, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, addressed the participants of the annual parliamentary foreign affairs debate. She emphasised the importance of strengthening Latvia’s security, which includes ensuring long-term presence of NATO forces in the region, a strong and vigilant European Union, as well as economic security of Latvia. “Latvia’s security depends on a strong European and Transatlantic community,” said the Speaker.
Mūrniece noted that we are facing such international challenges as terrorism, armed conflicts and migration crisis in Europe, as well as an aggressive, revanchist and unpredictable superpower as our neighbour. “The world is constantly changing and becoming increasingly precarious. We are running out of time to address these challenges, while the resources they require are constantly growing,” said Mūrniece.
“We can celebrate the fact that the NATO decisions regarding strengthening the eastern dimension of the collective defence are being implemented. However, we should keep in mind that NATO and allies are only going to protect us if we show our own abilities to defend ourselves,” said Mūrniece, adding that it includes not only increased defence budget but also a close cooperation between the state and municipal institutions, as well as support of the general public.
The Speaker pointed out that one of the main foreign policy tasks in the NATO Warsaw Summit is to achieve an increased long-term military presence of NATO in Latvia, as well as ensure protection of the alliance’s member states against all types of threats, especially the hybrid-threats and propaganda, which not only impedes counteraction but also makes it impossible to separate true values from fabrications. “Therefore strategic communication is one of the most important directions of foreign policy.”
“Strengthening of the Eastern border is an important task. Latvia as a border country has a special responsibility. We have a lot of homework,” said Mūrniece, urging the relevant institutions to take immediate and well–coordinated action. “At this time Latvia is able to control its borders; however, we also rely on the help of our allies, if need be. Therefore we support the joint European border guard idea, which should be implemented as soon as possible.”
Mūrniece also emphasised the need to continue strengthening Latvia’s and its neighbours’ freedom and democratic development, expressing strong support to Ukraine.
The Speaker mentioned energy security as another important task pertaining to both domestic and foreign policy. “During our presidency we were among the most eager advocates of the Energy Union and energy security. It is unacceptable that the liberalisation of natural gas market in Latvia is being delayed. We, members of the Saeima, must act responsibly and adopt amendments to the Energy Law, and put an end to Russia’s dominance in the Latvian energy market.”
Photos from the event: https://www.flickr.com/photos/saeima/albums/72157663384686790
Disclaimer & copyrights: http://www.saeima.lv/en/copyrights
Saeima Press Service