Our common goal on both sides of the Atlantic is to ensure security and prosperity for our citizens. Security implies not only military security, but also cybersecurity and the security of financial systems and information space. It is therefore important to strengthen Transatlantic cooperation to counter terrorist threats, information warfare and cyberattacks. Speaker Ināra Mūrniece stressed this on Monday, 19 June, at the Saeima, while opening the 8th Parliamentary Intelligence Security Forum.
Pointing to the increasing cyberthreats around the world, Ināra Mūrniece attested that Latvia has also been affected by politically motivated cyberattacks. Russia's readiness to make use of cyberattacks causes serious concern. We should all make joint efforts in building a secure cyberspace by involving not only parliaments and governments, but also the private sector.
To counter propaganda and disinformation campaigns carried out by the Kremlin that Latvia knows well, we must take daily measures to strengthen strategic communication and provide the general public with true, fact-based information, stressed Speaker Mūrniece.
The Speaker of the Saeima pointed out that, to address terrorist threats, it is vital to build national capacities and international cooperation. Anti-corruption and counter-terrorism financing measures are of paramount importance in the fight against terrorism.
Speaker Mūrniece thanked the founder of the forum, United States Congressman Robert Pittenger, for his personal contribution in furthering this important international event, as well as two Saeima committee chairs who proposed to hold the event in the Latvian parliament.
Solvita Āboltiņa, Chair of the Saeima National Security Committee, in her opening address, stressed that hosting the forum enables the Saeima to draw particular attention of our allies to security issues that have become particularly important in Latvia in recent years. This gives way for a broader discussion about strengthening the information space, which has become especially relevant with the hybrid warfare waged by Russia, stressed Chair Āboltiņa.
We are aware that the Latvian eastern border is also the external border of the European Union and NATO, just as we are aware of how unpredictable our neighbouring country Russia is. Our geographical location makes us vulnerable – we can no longer take our peace and security for granted. This is why Latvia is well aware of the importance to invest in defence and of the role of international cooperation in improving security. Security is our common task, said the Chair of the National Security Committee.
Solvita Āboltiņa also stated that we can only succeed in providing security to our citizens if we work together, no matter the size of each country. Now that the threats and challenges we face are global, our responses must be based on cooperation.
At the opening, forum participants were also addressed by H.E. Nancy Bikoff Pettit, Ambassador of the United States of America to the Republic of Latvia; Paweł Chorąży, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Economic Development of the Republic of Poland; and Robert Pittenger, Member of Congress, Chairman of the Congressional Taskforce on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare.
The 8th Parliamentary Intelligence Security Forum brings together representatives of more than twenty national parliaments, industry professionals and experts from the academia. The forum focuses on banking and financial system security as well as protection of foreign investments. Forum participants also deliberate on the role of information in today's security situation, cybersecurity and applying provisions of international law in the intelligence security context.
US Member of Congress Robert Pittenger laid down the tradition of the Parliamentary Intelligence Security Forum in 2014 to strengthen US–European cooperation in promoting security. Each year, these forums give European and US legislators an opportunity to not only analyse the most pressing security challenges and risks but also, through exchange of information and best practices, to find effective solutions and a shared understanding of common measures to be implemented.
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Saeima Press Service