Foreign Minister: relations with Russia are formed by developments in the world

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Relations with Russia are formed by developments in the world, including Ukraine and Syria, which may seem far away but can still affect our life, explains Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics.

In his interview to Riga TV24, Rinkevics said there are no major dynamics in relations with Russia, saying that this aspect depends on multiple factors, including developments in hot-spots and their influence over the EU-Russian relations.

Rinkevics reminded that Latvia and Russia are neighbouring states who resolve matters every day with one another, saying that meetings between ministers and experts of the two countries are regularly organized. The minister added that Latvia actively follows activities Russia carried out near its borders.

«We pay careful attention to Article 5 of NATO treaty,» – added Rinkevics. «We will do much in order to secure constant presence of NATO troops,» – he added, hoping it will give Russian politicians a clear signal.

Previously in his interview to Bloomberg, Rinkevics mentioned Latvia need more soldiers, more training, clearer presence. «What is truly needed is demonstrating that NATO will remain for as long as necessary,» – said the minister.

Latvia’s Ambassador to NATO Indulis Berzins has confirmed that NATO fully understands that the worst case scenario is the application of Article 5. With that, NATO is engaged in active talks regarding additional security elements, including those for Baltic States.

«Looking at it from this perspective, this matter is being discussed because certain threats that appeared after Crimea’s annexation and the conflict in the South-East of Ukraine have not gone anywhere,» – said the ambassador. «The second reason for discussions is preparations for the Warsaw summit. It is currently vital to realize all decisions made during the summit in Wales,» – explains Berzins.

«There is serious ground for the minister’s statements,» – he added.

In October and November, Latvia will be holding Arrcade Fusion military exercises of NATO Rapid Response Forces.

At the end of August, more than 460 NATO troops stayed in Latvia. It is unknown just how large the presence of allied troops will be in Latvia during the autumn and winter period, according to information from Defence Ministry.

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