Straujuma wary of Russia in national security speech

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Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma warned about the influence of neighbouring Russia Thursday in the annual address to the parliament or Saeima on national security issues.


"Russian aggression in Ukraine has shaken global security and international order. Together with its allies in the EU, NATO and the wider world, Latvia has clearly condemned Russia's actions [which] compel  all European countries to re-evaluate attitudes towards security which have been taken for granted,” Straujuma told the chamber.

Russia is also trying to ‘increase its influence’ in Latvia by means of an information war and funding organisations that do not have the interests of the Latvian state at heart, the Prime Minister said in a wide-ranging speech.

The speech – which is not subject to a parliamentary vote – was criticised by opposition MP Janis Adamsons as being unduly harsh on Russia.

Adamsons argued that ‘’everyone in Ukraine is acting in their own interests, including the United States,  Russia and the Ukrainians,’’ and in a bizarre aside claimed that around 20 US Special Forces  troops were currently in Latvia in addition to the 150 troops of the 173rd Airborne Brigade.

Straujuma also came under fire from within her own coalition with deputy Vineta Porina of the National Alliance claiming the condemnation of Russia had not been tough enough.

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