Latvian PM likens Russia to unpredictable ‘alcoholic’

Latvian PM likens Russia to unpredictable 'alcoholic'
Source: Video Screenshot

Latvian Prime Minister Evika Silina on Friday compared Russia to an unpredictable “alcoholic” during a discussion on security threats from the powerful neighbouring country.

A former Soviet republic, Latvia has had tense relations with Moscow since it gained independence.

Ties have deteriorated still further since Russian invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Asked about potential security risks, Silina said Latvia was “strengthening the military capabilities” on its eastern border with Russia.

“We live next to a neighbour who, you could say, is like an alcoholic or an addict, whose actions we cannot predict,” Silina told Latvian Radio.

“We must be aware that we live next to Russia and Belarus,” she added.

Latvia, a member of both NATO and the European Union, shares a 214-kilometre (133-mile) border with Russia.

This has sparked concern that Latvia and its fellow Baltic states, Estonia and Lithuania, could be next on Moscow’s agenda were it to win the war in Ukraine.

In January, all three countries agreed to build new defences on their borders with Russia and Belarus, Moscow’s ally, citing the need to deter and defend against military threats.

Silina said Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is expected to extend his two-decade hold on power in a presidential election next week, “tries to frighten the surrounding countries”.

Foreign ministers from the Baltic countries said last month the forthcoming Russian vote would be “neither free nor fair”, denouncing a “total crackdown” by the Kremlin on the opposition and independent media.

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