President of Latvia: 'War in Ukraine has changed the world'

Russia's war in Ukraine over the six months has completely changed the world, especially in Europe, President of Latvia Egils Levits said in an interview on Latvian Radio on Ukraine's Independence Day, August 24.

The world has changed completely over the last half-year – the west has recovered from the original shock, converged, and become united, Levits said. The president also recalled that Russia wanted to weaken NATO at the beginning of the war in Ukraine, but with its actions it has achieved exactly the opposite, because NATO will soon have two new member states, Finland and Sweden, said Levits.

Russia, through its actions, has “failed to put a wedge between European and NATO countries”, said the president.

He acknowledged that the war in Ukraine in western society had become routine, and there was fatigue in this respect, but that does not mean that Ukraine is losing the war. According to Levits, the routine means that the west continues to provide military assistance to Ukraine and equip civilians fleeing the war, while the western community is getting used to the situation.

Levits said that the task of Latvia, NATO, Europe, and Western countries is to continue helping Ukraine to resist Russian attacks by providing military support and continuing economic and political pressure on Russia.

“There needs to be a defeat for Russia at the end. It's a real [probability]. It depends on Ukrainians and the military," the president added.

“We, like the whole world, are suffering from this war – in Europe [there are high] gas prices, energy bills. We all suffer, it is the price we pay for Ukraine to face Russian aggression,” the President said.

Regarding Latvia, the President said Latvians have become more patriotic and more aware of the price of freedom. The war in Ukraine has created a “higher sensitivity” for Latvia against Russia's presence in Latvia. “For example, we now take Russian monuments more painfully,” said the President.

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