Latvia is working closely with NATO allies in continuous monitoring and assessment of the situation, according to the AM statement.
“Putin cannot accept the failures of the Ukrainian occupation plan and the war he has launched, so he is prepared to escalate the situation with both conventional threats and nuclear blackmail and other elements,” Defense Minister Artis Pabriks (Development/For!) was quoted as saying in the statement.
The Ministry of Defense also recalled that the autumn phase of the annual military training “Namejs 2022” takes place throughout Latvia from September 5 to October 9 and the armed forces are in high combat readiness.
The “Namejs” training consists of soldiers and national guards from all units of the National Armed Forces, auxiliaries, and Latvian citizens who undertake a military training course for auxiliaries, as well as soldiers from NATO's allied countries.
“Putin's announcement today must also be discussed at the level of NATO leaders. Western society must continue on its strict path and demonstrate a common position by providing all forms of support to Ukraine, both by arms and by other means. Similarly, the whole democratic world must say directly and unequivocally to Russia that any false referendums in the occupied territories of Ukraine will not alter our attitude to this unjust war. I call on the whole of the Western society not to comply with Russia's nuclear blackmail,” Pabriks said the ministry statement.
Shortly afterwards, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs said a desire to dodge Putin's draft would not be considered sufficient reason to be allowed over the border from Russia as it would not constitute a humanitarian reason and came with security implications. There would be no changes to the ban on non-essential travel via Latvia to Russian holders of Schengen visas, he said.
Drošības apsvērumu dēļ Latvija neizsniegs humānās vai cita veida vīzas tiem Krievijas pilsoņiem, kuri izvairās no mobilizācijas, kā arī nemainīs kopš 19.septembra ieviestos robežšķērsošanas ierobežojumus Krievijas pilsoņiem ar Šengenas vīzām— Edgars Rinkēvičs (@edgarsrinkevics) September 21, 2022
Rinkevičs followed up with another no-holds-barred tweet in English comparing Putin's Russia with Hitler's Germany.
#Putin announced “partial” mobilisation and annexation of parts of #Ukraine. We must not give in to his blackmail and support Ukraine as much as we can. #Russia is as dangerous to Europe and the world’s peace today as Nazi Germany was in the last century #StandWithUkraine— Edgars Rinkēvičs (@edgarsrinkevics) September 21, 2022