The clear position of the Baltics and Poland ”set the tone” for the EU’s common stance on the situation in Belarus, President Egils Levits said while addressing Saeima today.
In his opinion, an active and competent foreign policy is one of the cornerstones of Latvia’s sustainability, because visibility and influence in European and world politics strengthens national security. “We must set high goals in order to influence the agenda of international democratic institutions with our position,” Levits is convinced.
The President is convinced that Latvia has a moral obligation to support the non-violent resistance of Belarusian civil society, as the very basic principle of democracy – fair elections – has been violated. Latvia’s democratic convictions and historical experience also demand supportive action.
“It was the clear and timely common position of the Baltics and Poland that set the tone for the European Union’s current common position on what is happening in Belarus,” Levits said.
Levits reminded that Latvia is committed to running for a seat on the UN Security Council in 2025. In order for Latvia to be elected to this council, 129 countries must be persuaded to support Latvia.
“Therefore, we need to define what Latvia’s special contribution will be, which will persuade these 129 countries to vote for us. This is a priority task not only for foreign policy makers, but for the wider society and the non-governmental sector,” the president said.
He also emphasized that external and internal security must continue to be a priority for Latvia. “Under no circumstances should we relax in this difficult situation. In the field of defense, we must continue the plans we have begun, especially the planned purchases to strengthen our military capabilities,” said Levits, while adding that defense spending cannot under any circumstances be reduced.
In his opinion, Latvia must immediately become actively involved in planning the further development of the NATO alliance.