Security situation in Latvia unchanged after deadly strike in Poland

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The explosion in Poland Tuesday, near the Ukrainian border, which killed two people and is believed to have been caused by a missile strike, has not changed the security situation in Latvia, the Prime Minister and Defense Minister said November 16.

The Polish government issued a statement overnight Tuesday that the missile that fell into a Polish border village was made in Russia, though the facts about precisely where, why and by whom it was fired are still being investigated. 

Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš told the "Rīta Panorāma" morning news show that the security situation in Latvia has not changed after the incident in Poland. In Kariņš' view, the massive missile attack on Ukraine plus the strike in Poland provide a reminder that we should continue to support Ukraine in all possible ways.

Defense Minister Artis Pabriks stated that full details of the incident are still awaited in order to clarify all the circumstances. 

"Careful research work needs to be done to really confirm what those missiles are, where they came from. The first reaction was that they were Russian missiles. (..) In order to have a proper political and security response to this event, we need to wait for reconfirmation," Pabriks said. 

The Minister of Defense emphasized that there may be different versions of events: "It may be a missile fired from Russian territory or Russian aircraft. It may be a missile fired from Belarus. It may be a missile of the Ukrainian air defense system, which tried to shoot down a Russian missile."

The Latvian cabinet met in an extraordinary session at 10:00 Wednesday to discuss the matter, after which Kariņš told reporters:

"There are two things to be said... one is that the security situation in Latvia remains unchanged. Two, our services are following events in Poland in connection with the investigation which has still not fully concluded from where and how it happened. We are following it, but all of our services and our government are ready at all times if we make decision on what we can and will do."

He also reiterated that the government was ready to support Poland "at any time and in whatever they request."

Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs was engaged in consultations with his Polish counterpart Wednesday morning.


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