Kariņš: "The only provocation is to not arm Ukraine"

Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš took part in the GLOBSEC security conference in Bratislava, Slovakia June 2, using the occasion to reassert Latvia's staunch support for Ukraine in the face of Russia's unprovoked invasion.

According to Kariņš, Latvia's support proved vital even on day one of the invasion when Stinger missiles sent from Latvia helped thwart a Russian attempt to seize a key airport.

So far Latvia has given about 250 million euros' worth of military aid to Ukraine – equivalent to around one third of the national defense budget and almost one percent of national GDP, Kariņš said.

"We have given everything that we have, and would gladly give more, but the difficulty is we don't have a lot of these weapons systems that Ukraine is asking for," Kariņs told the audience, to applause.

Furthermore, if all friendly countries made proportionately similar contributions, "Ukraine would have the firepower to get the job done," Kariņš said.

The Latvian Prime Minister had little time for fears about "provoking" Russia's President Putin.

"The only provocation is to not arm Ukraine, to not arm ourselves and NATO and to not strengthen the eastern flank, because Putin – with perceived weakness – he will move forward and atttack and kill people," Kariņš said.

The full discussion is availale to watch online and below.

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Over the past two decades, GLOBSEC Bratislava Forum has established itself as a leading strategic conference in the Central Eastern Europe region.

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