Latvians are not ready to see armed soldiers in Riga
Submitted by Viktors Domburs…
Now it is clear that the Baltic States have become home for foreign troops. NATO soldiers train and live along with the soldiers of national armed forces. Four multinational battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, led by the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and the United States respectively demonstrate their military capabilities. It is known that NATO Enhanced Forward Presence personnel rotates every six months. Over some years thousands allied soldiers from NATO allies have already served in the units.
The Baltic States restlessly show their interest in increasing foreign military presence on their soil fearing aggression from Russia. At the same time they understand that foreign military presence on permanent basis is impossible right now. It requires appropriate national and international legislation. The more so, population of the Baltic countries is not happy with such perspectives. Thus, national authorities and NATO have found a way out. Foreign contingents are deployed to the Baltic States on a rotational basis and as a part of joined military exercises.
It should be said that joined maneuvers each year become larger and start to bother locals. The idea of increasing the number of foreign troops even frightens the population.
Thus, the commander of Latvia’s National Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Leonids Kalnins, recently announced the conducting of military exercise dubbed “Namejs” with the participation of National Guard (Zemessardze), national armed forces and NATO allied forces. The maneuvers are planned for September and October. He said that this year major activities will take place in Riga and the number of soldiers will be quite large.
Notably, it is not a common thing to hold military exercises in the capital of the country at all. So, residents soon will see armed soldiers just in the heart of the country, in the streets of Riga. It is difficult to evaluate now the level of threat which military can pose to the Latvians in the streets. The threat definitely exists. Random shots, car accidents, quarrels can occur at any time.
Military training in the streets is absolutely unacceptable in terms of life safety. The authorities of the country embody the idea of the constant presence of foreign military in the country under the guise of exercises. The more so they consciously endanger their own people. Apparently, the authorities will do everything for the sake of achieving their political goals, even to the detriment of the Latvians’ interests.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.