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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Russia’s next international forays, according to Latvia’s president, will need the West to equip Ukraine

<p>The president of Latvia claims that Russia is preparing for a protracted conflict in Ukraine and he has a warning for other nations that are debating whether or not to keep arming Kyiv: if you don’t, the Ukrainians will lose and Russia will have license to threaten other nations in the future.<img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-278521″ src=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/theindiaprint.com-russias-next-international-forays-according-to-latvias-president-will-need-the-wes.jpg” alt=”theindiaprint.com russias next international forays according to latvias president will need the wes” width=”944″ height=”628″ title=”Russia's next international forays, according to Latvia's president, will need the West to equip Ukraine 12″ srcset=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/theindiaprint.com-russias-next-international-forays-according-to-latvias-president-will-need-the-wes.jpg 275w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/theindiaprint.com-russias-next-international-forays-according-to-latvias-president-will-need-the-wes-150×100.jpg 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 944px) 100vw, 944px” /></p>
<p>“It is important to actually fight for international peace, and peace in Europe, because if we stop Russia in Ukraine, then Russia will not be able to challenge other countries,” Edgars Rinkevics said in an interview with The Associated Press.</p>
<p>He brought up the trouble that Russia’s Wagner mercenary force is causing in Africa as well as Russian contacts with representatives of Hamas, the terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip and is responsible for the surprise assault that killed almost 1,200 people in Israel on October 7.</p>
<p>As president of Latvia, Rinkevics took office in July. Until August 1991, Latvia was a member of the Soviet Union. With a population of 1.9 million, the Baltic country became a member of the European Union and NATO in 2004. Its 214-kilometer border with Russia gives it a strategic location on their eastern flank.</p>
<p>Before being elected president, Rinkevics served as Latvia’s foreign minister for 13 years. He stated that although some EU members have “their opinions,” the alliance has ultimately decided to sanction Russia and give Ukraine greater support in response to its invasion in February 2022.</p>
<p>In the interview on Thursday, he said, “Interestingly enough, the EU is more divided when it comes to the Middle East, rather than to Ukraine, at this point.”</p>
<p>He said that in order to defend “our values” and the global order, the West must stand with Israel and Ukraine. Additionally, he emphasized the need of advocating for humanitarian breaks in the Gaza conflict to aid Palestinian civilians, the number of whom, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, have died in Israel’s reprisal for the Hamas onslaught surpassing 11,000.</p>
<p>Iran is “very pleased to see this kind of development in the Middle East,” according to Rinkevics, who also cited Tehran’s provision of weapons and other supplies to Russia in support of its conflict in Ukraine.</p>
<p>According to him, “it is in NATO’s security interests that both cases are viewed the same way.” “I do think that if Ukraine succeeds, it will be much easier for us to maintain peace in Europe than if we let Ukraine down, or if the situation in the Middle East gets out of control.”</p>
<p>According to Rinkevics, the West must react to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s request for more weaponry “because we have not provided as much as we should have,” adding that Ukrainian troops are fighting “in a very brave way.”</p>
<p>According to him, Russia is preparing its armed forces, economy, and resources “for a very long war.” He claimed Moscow intends to “strangle” Ukraine after realizing it cannot win the conflict swiftly and that it would likely strike the country’s energy infrastructure again in the next months, just as it did the previous winter.</p>
<p>Rinkevics said that NATO and the EU must be ready for a protracted conflict in Ukraine.</p>
<p>He said, “The EU has realized that we need more military and defense.” And at this point, I really hope that the procedure would move a little quicker. However, those matters are now at last progressing.</p>
<p>He said that while several European countries of NATO have made progress toward the goal of allocating 2% of GDP to defense, Latvia plans to increase that amount to 3% in 2027 and 2.4% of GDP in 2019. He went on to say that more has to be produced in Europe’s defense industry.</p>
<p>Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, reportedly hopes to outlive Western backing for Ukraine in a protracted battle, according to several analysts and officials.</p>
<p>Rinkevics said, “I think it’s very important that he fails.”</p>
<p>He said, “I think there will be increasing pressure on Israel if the world sees that Europe and the United States are failing to provide support to Ukraine.”</p>
<p>He said, “I think Iran is going to be more assertive.” “Let us also remember Taiwan and the entire Asia-Pacific region.”</p>
<p>According to the head of Latvia, Russia is using propaganda worse than that of the Cold War as it transitions from an autocracy to a totalitarian state.</p>
<p>He said that they are displaying “violent images or cartoon videos depicting the use of nuclear weapons to destroy cities in Europe or the United States, claiming that the use of nuclear weapons is actually quite simple.”</p>
<p>He continued, claiming that what they are saying about Ukrainians is “kind of a lower human race—it’s very much resembling what Nazi Germany was saying about the Jews.”</p>
<p>Rinkevics, one of the few LGBTQ+ heads of state in Europe, came out as homosexual in 2014. He is now in New York to start Latvia’s quest for a seat on the UN Security Council in 2026–2027.</p>
<p>Rinkevics said, “I believe that very quickly also they are going to be more inclusive, more open to the whole community,” if people can accept a homosexual head of state. I hope that message is understood somewhere else as well.</p>
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