Writing on Twitter, Latvia's longest-serving Foreign Minister said that because of the continued build-up of Russian and Belarusian forces "It is time to increase allied forces presence in the Alliance's Eastern flank both as measures of defense and deterrence."
We are reaching the point where continuous Russian and Belarusian military buildup in Europe needs to be addressed by appropriate NATO countermeasures. It is time to increase allied forces presence in the Alliance’s Eastern flank both as measures of defense and deterrence— Edgars Rinkēvičs (@edgarsrinkevics) January 24, 2022
Earlier, Rinkēvičs wrote on the Facebook platform that the Latvian Embassy in Ukraine continues to operate in full, though plans for the evacuation of the embassy have been drawn up and can be initiated if necessary. "We are constantly evaluating the security situation and will act accordingly," he said.
"Edgars Rinkēvičs expressed Latvia’s support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, underlining the need for progress in negotiation in the Normandy Four format. No delay is permissible with devising additional measures to build Ukraine’s resilience and strengthen its defence capabilities, underlined the Minister, adding that Latvia is prepared to deliver both lethal and non-lethal equipment to Ukraine."
"The Latvian Foreign Minister stated a position that, in its relations with Russia, the EU should retain unity and an approach driven by principles laid down by the European Union. The Russian Federation’s unilateral demands concerning security guarantees and revision of the European security architecture, which poses increased risks to stability and security, cannot be the basis for further talks, Edgars Rinkēvičs underlined. Latvia supports diplomatic contacts with Russia in NATO, the OSCE and the USA-Russia dialogue. The EU must continue with its support for the strengthening of Ukraine’s resilience and the preparation of strong sanctions on Russia, the Minister noted," according to the MFA statement.