We no longer have any illusions about Russia. The aggressor has adjusted its economy for a protracted war and spends more than a third of its budget on its military. We must not underestimate the adversary, Russia is constantly changing tactics in the battlefield and learning quickly. Western allies need to be aware that Russia will not stop at Ukraine unless we stop it. This was emphasised by the Speaker of the Saeima Daiga Mieriņa during her visit to Washington D.C. to meet U.S. legislators.
Speaker Mieriņa, together with the President of the Estonian Parliament Lauri Hussar and the Speaker of the Lithuanian Seimas Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, is visiting the U.S. to strengthen transatlantic cooperation and share the Baltic countries’ vision of the global security situation.
In conversations with Senators and the Congress officials, we witnessed strong support for Ukraine, says Speaker Mieriņa. No one wants to allow for Russia’s dominance and dismantling of the existing world order. However, there are diverging views on the way to allocate the necessary funding to Ukraine.
The Baltic Speakers share a common view that the U.S. support to Ukraine has a much broader context, closely linked to the U.S.’s global leadership and credibility, the ability to decisively provide a helping hand to victims of aggression.
The U.S. counterparts praised the Baltic nations for their strong position, supporting Ukraine internationally and setting an example for other European countries. The contribution of the Baltic States to their own security has also been appreciated by the U.S. legislators.
Speaker Mieriņa drew the attention to the hybrid threats posed by Russia: “It is no secret that Russia has expanded a wide front of information warfare. It aims to discredit our armed forces and governments, divide societies and sow dissent among allies. It’s a fight we are facing daily.”
Speaker of the Saeima underlined Russia’s ability to circumvent sanctions and access Western technologies and components necessary for the production of weapons and armaments as a major challenge. Allies need to focus on preventing the circumvention of sanctions.
During the meetings with the U.S. officials, the discussions included such topics as the confiscation of Russian assets and channelling the funds for the reconstruction of Ukraine, and the need to bring war criminals to justice. Speaker Mieriņa also informed that Latvia has initiated discussions at the European Union level on the ban on food imports from Russia, taking into account the increasing flow of the so-called “blood grains” into our country.
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Saeima Press Service