Latvia warns of “event” risk between NATO and Russia

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Eastern Europe Update

This”WeaponizationThe Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia stated that Belarusian immigrants on its border with Lithuania and upcoming military exercises involving Russian and Belarusian troops may have “incidents” in the Baltic States or Poland with NATO troops.

Edgars Rinkevics told the Financial Times that when the Russian government took measures, the possibility of “misunderstanding, some actions not approved by higher authorities” increased. Sarpad military exercises Held next month.

“You have a border crisis. You conducted a major military exercise on the borders of NATO countries. You have also increased the presence of border guards and military formations on our side, Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland. Of course. , Which increases the possibility of accidents,” Rinkevis said.

have More and more disturbed In the Baltic States and Brussels, the authoritarian regime of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s flawed elections and Crash landing A journalist activist was caught during a flight inside the European Union in May.

Baltic officials said his latest strategy is to provide a package plan for immigrants from Iraq, Syria or several African countries, including access to the Lithuanian border.more than 4,000 immigrants I entered Lithuania this year alone, which is more than 50 times the number of people who entered last year.

Rinkevics stated that this is “a very obvious case of mixed warfare,” deliberately using immigration to target the European Union and Lithuania.

“Immigration is actually used as a weapon. The longer we live in this 21st century, the more terrifying it will become. We can’t imagine what can be used is being used,” he said.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia said that he was encouraged by Iraq’s decision to suspend flights to Minsk. Coupled with the new strategy of the Lithuanian border guards to “push” migrants back to Belarus, the number of people crossing the border has fallen sharply in recent days. .

When Russia’s annual military exercises are transferred to the western region bordering Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, tensions in the Baltic countries will increase every four years. However, Rinkevics said that this year’s Zapad exercise was particularly sensitive due to “continuous mixed warfare factors.”

He added: “Of course, this is likely to happen. Of course, if someone is planning some deliberate provocation, then you can see this. But honestly, I don’t think it is interested in escalating it into a full-scale military provocation.”

Russia, which has close relations with Belarus, is one of the few supporters of Minsk. Linkiewicz said that he believes that it is not in Moscow’s interest to be too closely related to Lukashenko’s recent actions, and that these actions are “a bit too shameful.”

But he argued that Russia was probably involved in Belarus’s recent operations in some way. “Of course it is hard to imagine that this kind of action can be accomplished without some kind of support, coordination and cooperation,” Rinkevics said.

Last week, MEP Riho Terras, former head of the Estonian armed forces Call Regarding NATO invoking its Article 4 on the immigration crisis; this requires consultations among members of the military alliance. Invoking it will not be as serious as Article 5, which declares that an attack on one member is an attack on all members, but it is regarded as a sign of NATO’s deep concern for a certain issue and has been used by Turkey many times.

Rinkevics hinted that Latvia would support the call for Article 4 where appropriate. “If there is a real need to call for consultations with NATO allies, if we think Article 4 is needed, we will use it,” he said.

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