Baltic States' Growing Concern – Latvia Urges to 'Wake Up"

Written by Henrik Rothen

Feb.23 - 2024 7:40 AM CET

Photo: Alexandros Michailidis /
Photo: Alexandros Michailidis /
Latvia Urges to 'Wake Up".

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The fear of a military conflict in the Baltic region is escalating. Last week, Estonia's intelligence service warned that Russia is preparing for a military confrontation against NATO within the next decade. Now, Latvia, another neighbor of Russia, is emphasizing the seriousness of the situation, particularly in light of the increasingly grim prospects for Ukraine on the battlefield. Latvian Prime Minister Evika Silina expressed concern that the moment thoughts of surrender arise, it could spell disaster.

"When you start to believe that you have lost, you have truly lost. We cannot fall into the trap of starting to believe we have lost," she told Newsweek.

"Wake Up!"

Latvia, like Estonia, has been one of the strongest advocates for increasing support for Ukraine and implementing tougher measures against Russia.

The country has donated more than one percent of its GDP—nearly as much as NATO requires its members to spend on defense—to strengthen Ukraine's military.

"What's the alternative? To join Russia? Definitely not. So wake up, get off the couch, and start doing the best you can for your country and for yourself," said Silina.

"Standing at the Frontline"

The Latvian Prime Minister directly addresses NATO with her concerns, urging the alliance to be vigilant.

"We are standing at the frontline," she stated.

"I cannot say there is a three- or five-year timeline for the threat, but we understand. We see that Ukraine can win. But yes, after this, Russia will again have the capacity to attack someone else. And it could be five years, it could be three years, it depends on what tools they decide to use."

Echoes of Ukraine

Latvia's concerns are well-founded. In early December, Russia began a series of threats against the NATO member, eerily similar to the rhetoric used against Ukraine before the full-scale invasion. Among other things, Vladimir Putin has claimed that Latvia is violating the rights of the Russian-speaking minority in the country.

"If they pursue such a policy towards people who want to live in that country, work there, create something good for that country, and they treat them so vilely, then eventually they themselves will face this vile behavior in their country," Putin said, according to the American newspaper.