Latvia will face security risks if Russia attacks Ukraine: Defense Ministry

If Russia decides to attack Ukraine, certain security risks will also arise for Latvia, said Jānis Garisons, State Secretary for the Ministry of Defense, on Latvian Television February 14.

Garisons said that Russia is increasingly concentrating its armed forces around Ukraine's borders, and those forces have reached the highest combat readiness this week. The active phase of military training is also taking place in Belarus. The risks of a decision to attack Ukraine are currently very high.

Therefore, potential threats to Latvia have been identified, Garisons said, pointing out that Latvia is on the same flank, and in the event of potential warfare, cyber-attacks and informative attacks can also be directed against Latvia.

According to Garisons, nothing has come to an end on the Belarus border, where Lukashenko's regime continues to direct illegal migrants towards Latvia. “In fact, we have the highest number of attempts by migrants to cross the border in recent months,” Garisons said.

He acknowledged that cyber threats currently represent the highest risks, because these attacks are relatively easy to carry out, the perpetrators can easily be assumed but it is very difficult to prove that one or the other countries are behind them. Cyber attacks aim to both intimidate and cause material damage.

Asked how to protect residents from potential cyber-attacks, Garisons acknowledged that no single solution exists. “It's the same as with an informational room - everything has to be approached critically (…),” the Ministry's spokesman said.

In case of problems, Latvia's information technology security incident prevention body “Cert.lv” may be contacted.

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