President-elect: Russian relations will be tricky

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If Russia, is aggressive towards its neighbors, cooperation with it will be complicated, said Latvian president-elect Raimonds Vejonis in an interview with the LTV on Thursday.

He said that if Russia stops interfering in conflicts in Ukraine, then Latvia and the EU are ready to renew a constructive dialogue, but underscored that Russia should observe international norms in relation to Ukraine, which is not being done at present.

"We're interested in constructive relations with Russia because of course the Russian market is important to Latvian businesses, but at the same time if some country such as Russia continues to be aggressive towards its neighbors and uses various resources: military, financial, informational, against these countries, then it makes cooperation with such a country very difficult," Vejonis said.

"It is very important that Russia complies with the norms of international law and does not threaten other countries."

The president-elect said that the situation has deteriorated because fighting has started again in Ukraine with full participation of Russia.

After weeks of a questionable ceasefire, on Wednesday Russian-backed forces launched a full-scale assault on the Marinka suburb of Donetsk, which util now has remained in Ukrainian hands.

The onslaught included heavy weaponry that could only have come from Russia according to eyewitness reports.

Also in the interview, Vejonis said that though he intended to continue living in his humble flat in the mall town of Ogre, he would re-open the mothballed official Presidential residence in Jurmala for official use as a suitable venue for talks with visiting dignitaries and the like.

"It has a pleasant atmosphere and being right next to the Baltic sea it would be a good place for constructive talks on matters of state," Vejonis said. 

Latvian lawmakers elected incumbent Defense Minister Raimonds Vejonis, the candidate nominated by the ruling Greens and Farmers Union (ZZS), as Latvia's new president in the fifth round of voting on Wednesday. Vejonis was elected with 55 votes to 42.

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