Kariņš: NATO needs a strategy to 'rein in Russia'

Outgoing Latvian Foreign Minister Krišjānis Kariņš wrapped up one of his final assignments April 4 at the meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Brussels, where NATO Allies discussed current security and defence priorities in preparation for the NATO summit to be held in Washington in July.

In his address to the participants, Krišjānis Kariņš underlined the need for NATO to agree on a long-term strategy to contain Russia, according to an account given by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

"The topic of key importance for Latvia was the strengthening of the Alliance’s deterrence and defense capabilities, which includes an increase in the Allied military presence on NATO’s eastern flank, strengthening air defense and missile defense, work on the implementation of the new regional defense plans and increasing investment in defense," the statement said.

In an official ceremony as part of the meeting, the Foreign Affairs Ministers celebrated the 75th anniversary of the signing of the Washington Treaty, which formally established NATO.

In his address, Kariņš underlined the need to continue discussions on NATO’s strategy against Russian threats to Allied security: “Regardless of the situation in Ukraine, Russia will remain the most significant long-term threat in the Euro-Atlantic space," he said.

"In order to limit Russia’s ability to rebuild its armed forces, prevent its attempts to divide our societies and circumvent sanction, NATO needs to agree on a long-term strategy to rein in Russia. Only with a united and firm approach will be able to curb Russia's imperial ambitions," he warned.

The NATO summit in Washington will be held from 9 to 11 July.

As previously reported by LSM, Kariņš handed in his resignation last week as a result of a scandal concerning his use of charter flights during his four-year tenure as Prime Minister. He has previously signalled his desire to become the next NATO Secretary-General, though that possibility seems increasingly remote. 

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