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Saeima speaker: election will play major role for country’s foreign policy’s integrity

Ināra Mūrniece/flickr.com/Saeima.
Elections coming up in autumn will decide who will be forming Latvia’s foreign policy in the next four years and what this policy will include. Our biggest responsibility remains further strengthening of Latvia’s independence and security, said Saeima speaker Ināra Mūrniece at the opening of the parliament’s annual foreign policy debates on Thursday, 25 January.

«Those who hope dividing the world into areas of influence using military force are still here. This means we have to continue resisting and working with our allies – European Union, NATO, partners on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, Baltic States and Nordic States, as well as Eastern Partnership countries,» said Saeima speaker.

«We have to put effort into protecting international order based on specific regulations – a kind ruled by law, not lawlessness,» said Mūrniece, emphasizing that Latvia is with Ukraine. We cannot allow aggression and occupation to be legitimized in Europe.

The Saeima’s hard at work on sanctions against people involved in Sergei Magnitsky’s death represents our position against human rights violations in Russia, said the Saeima speaker, adding that other democratic countries should join in on this decision.

Emphasizing that NATO forms the foundation for security, Mūrniece thanked Canadian, US and European allies for providing troops for the battle group in Latvia. She also thanked the US Congress for making it clear that USA stands firmly in favour of NATO’s Article 5.

In her speech, Saeima speaker expressed satisfaction with Latvia’s decision to allocate 2% of the country’s GDP to defence. ‘The Saeima that will have to develop the country’s budget for next year will also have to keep this decision well in mind,’ said Mūrniece, adding that Estonia and Lithuania both spend more money than Latvia on their defence sector. This means, she said, that Latvia should consider increasing its contribution, because security objectives of all Baltic States coincide.

As for EU, Mūrniece said its central value is solidarity. Latvia needs the EU as a union of values. In the context for the future of the union, Saeima’s speaker said: «Without a doubt, Latvia should remain in the core of the European Union and stay an active member.»

Mūrniece also mentioned China’s rapid development, which urges Latvia to search for ways to help it enter the global economic and political arena while also preserving existing international order.

Concluding her speech, Mūrniece said that the current reality is complicated. The objective of Latvia’s foreign and domestic policy is preventing foreign powers from influencing our country. Latvia’s goal is ensuring the country is independent, democratic, safe and wealthy, said Saeima’s speaker.


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