In a wide-ranging interview with our colleagues at Lithuanian public media, LRT English, Staķis talks about which sorts of Russians are welcome in Latvia and which are not, the potential economic benefits of skilled migration, positive change being generated by Ukrainian schoolchildren and the issue of how and why to remove Soviet-era memorials from public spaces.
"If there's one guy I can call my friend, it is [Vilnius Mayor] Remigijus Šimašius. We were also discussing what happened in Vilnius when he demolished the monument [Soviet statues on the Green Bridge] when he became mayor [in 2015]," says Staķis.
"Of course, I discussed this question with the mayor of Tallinn, Mikhail [Kõlvart]. But the difference is in politics because Remigijus and I are on the same political path, but the mayor of Tallinn [is] on another, let’s call it like this politely.
"The mayor of Tallinn said [relocating the Soviet statue] was the worst decision made by Estonia in the history of Estonia, or at least in the history of Tallinn. And the mayor of Vilnius said to me – just do it."