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Vejonis: Russia bases its foreign policy on intimidation and splitting

Raimonds Vejonis/LETA.
Russia’s foreign policy involving propaganda, economic sanctions and military exercises is aimed towards splitting governments and societies and intimidating them, says Latvian Defence Minister Raimonds Vejonis.

There are no direct military threats to Latvia, but there has been increasing military activity near the state border, said the minister in an interview to Rīta Panorāma programme of LTV.

Lately the neighbour state has been conducting military exercises with aggressive scenarios. The have also been more sightings of Russian ships and submarines in the sea. There have also been more than 50 sightings of unidentified aircraft.

The minister notes that Russia’s foreign policy is aimed at three aspects: propaganda in specific regions, economic activities (sanctions of different kind) and intensive military exercises near the border. All this is meant to split and intimidate countries and their populations.

Vejonis notes the necessity of strengthening Latvia’s armed forces, form tighter regional cooperation and rely on NATO.

According to the minister, the most important topic for Latvia on the upcoming NATO summit in Wales will be constant presence of NATO forces in the Baltic region.

It is also planned to decide on actions during crisis situations, added Vejonis.

The minister said that Latvia requires constant presence of NATO forces, but there is still no clarity with the exact size of these forces. All Baltic States and Poland are in agreement on this matter. The necessity of establishing constant NATO presence in the region is cleat to other NATO member states, especially after the downing of the Malaysian passenger plane in Ukraine.
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