Former Latvian President: We cannot let Russia tell our country what to do

The former President of Latvia, Valdis Zatlers, discussed his recent visit to Moscow where he presented his book of memoirs, This is who I am! Zatlers shared his impressions with journalists from Latvijas Avīze, BaltNews reported.

“The Russian media shows everything bad about Latvia and it ignores questions asked in the Diplomatic Academy concerning the improvement of relations with Latvia,” said the former President, urging the exploration of Russian diplomacy deeper than it is currently represented in the media. At the same time he recalled the words of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the failed attempts in the past to improve these relations.

“Currently, much of the information is full of inappropriate claims against Latvia,” Zatlers believes. “We know ourselves what European values we joined ourselves to. It’s not good that our neighboring State does not uphold them, and tried to tell us what we represent and what we do not. Our position is clear — we favor our values, our state language and we will not allow anyone to put themselves above them; we will not allow others to tell us how to act within our own state. We have never threatened another country and have never insisted that our point of view should prevail.”

“Russia recognizes that there is an informational war. They have to understand that Latvia will fight back in this war,” the former President of Latvia added.

Zatlers also noted that in joining the EU and NATO, Latvia has made the right choice. “We are stable state with a GDP growth rate of 3%,” the former President of Latvia reminded listeners about the success story of Latvia. “The incomes of our families have not declined; there is no direct impact of the sanctions war on our national economy. While Russian economic growth is negative, inflation reaches almost double-digit rates and the purchasing power of the population is declining. It’s ridiculous under these circumstances to say that Latvia is a failed state that made the wrong choice by joining the EU and NATO. The economic system of the EU is far more effective and can restructure and overcome a crisis.”

According to Zatlers, as the Russian economy is too weak to play an important geopolitical role.

  Latvia, Russia