Latvia has the duty to save Europe from drowning in the swamp of political correctness – National Alliance’s opinion in debates about annual report on foreign policy 2015

Madam Speaker, Honourable Minister, dear colleagues,
I would like to thank the Minister for Foreign Affairs for the annual report on foreign policy. During turbulent times like these, Latvia’s foreign policy accomplishments attract increased attention. People are worried about the developments beyond our borders, and they expect the foreign service to adequately prepare for and respond to global challenges. We know that this has not always been the case, and the National Alliance has always pointed out the mistakes, most notably the one made in 2014, when the report on foreign policy provided a positive and optimistic outlook on Russia just two months before Kremlin’s aggression in Ukraine. Many Latvian entrepreneurs relied on this optimistic outlook and established close business ties with the aggressive neighbour, but later suffered losses as a result of the imposed sanctions and countersanctions.

To avoid recurrence of such mistakes, the Latvian government, and especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, must be able to provide more precise perspectives so that our citizens know what to expect and what preparations to make. Of course, it is not always possible to make precise predictions. And even if precise predictions can be made, it is not always possible to talk openly about them. However, if public announcements are made, they must be truthful rather than misleading.

This year’s report focuses on security. And we believe it is the right focus. Europe has not been as vulnerable as it is now in a long while. This applies to Latvia as well. Therefore, one can agree with the main points made in the report regarding strengthening of Latvia’s security, the need to increase military presence of the large NATO member states in Latvia, and to steer global foreign policy strategy and security policy of the European Union towards strengthening the transatlantic ties.

One of the most burning foreign policy issues, which created a lot of controversy in Latvian society last year, is the issue of migration. For the first time since the Awakening, there were demonstrations against immigrants in the streets of Riga. We are too well aware of the sensitive nature of this issue, knowing our people’s experience with the waves of migration and colonisation that swept Latvia during the Soviet occupation.

How is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs dealing with this issue? Some facts: last September the Minister for Foreign Affairs stated that the 776 migrants that Latvia will have to take in according to the European Commission’s plans, do not pose a threat to Latvia. However, last week, right here in the Saeima, in her report on national security, the Prime Minister emphasised that accepting 776 asylum seekers – and I quote – “will create new risks and challenges to national security, as there is a possibility that people linked with terrorist organisations will enter the country; furthermore the presence of refugees in Latvia may create ethnic tensions and a sense of insecurity in society”. So I must ask: if accepting migrants creates threats to Latvia’s security, why did the government of Latvia agree to let them in? We all know the answer – because the Ministry of Foreign Affairs lobbied the issue. It rejected all counterarguments presented by the National Alliance and strictly maintained that Latvia must do as the European Commission says, and accept the migrants. Failure to do so would create security risks. So, they were, in effect, saying the complete opposite – that risks would arise out of not accepting migrants, rather than accepting them.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs stated that Latvia would find itself in total isolation, we would lose EU and NATO member state support for issues important to us, Latvia would be brought before the European Court of Justice, made to pay fines and late fees, some NATO member states, more specifically – Hungary, would refuse to guard Latvia’s airspace. At the time I was the head of the Latvian delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly where I asked my Hungarian colleagues whether Hungary would really refuse to patrol Latvia’s airspace if we were to not support Junker’s plan. They completely rejected the notion, because Hungary itself does not support this plan.

NATO was also forced to respond to the scandalous statements by Latvia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs. General Bradshaw, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, was perplexed and pointed out that acceptance or non-acceptance of refugees would have no impact on NATO’s commitment to protect its member states.
Similar puzzlement was caused in the West by our minister’s statements that there are forces in the government of Latvia that wish to lay the country at the feet of the Kremlin. In the current geopolitical situation such statements by the head of our foreign service are unacceptable. Without a doubt, the allegations voiced by the minister were extremely offensive to many members and supporters of the National Alliance, who fought against the Kremlin’s power in Latvia even with weapons in hand. Such statements do nothing to facilitate the security of Latvia, nor do they improve our international reputation.

As regards seeking solutions to the migration issue, during the past year it seemed to many as if Latvia lacked its own foreign policy position on the issue, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, unfortunately, doing no more than merely explaining and justifying the soundness of the foreign policy of the European Commission and Chancellor Merkel. But Junker and Merkel’s policy is wrong. Inviting migrants in, giving them ample benefits, then redistributing them throughout the EU – it is all wrong! This policy not only fails to solve the migration crisis, it even deepens it. The National Alliance has been pointing this out to the Minister for Foreign Affairs since last summer. Why didn’t Latvian representatives clearly state this in Brussels? In the end – who else in the European Union, if not Latvia, has the greatest experience with unwelcome guests? We know full well and can prove the dramatic consequences that uncontrolled migration can have on a European country. It took acts of terrorism and victims for the rhetoric to change and awareness of the root of the problem to emerge.
It is commendable that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has started to address the issue of terrorism. The Foreign Policy Report states that “terrorist attacks in France and Denmark highlighted the direct impact of conflicts outside Europe on Europe’s social stability”. However, let me remind you that most of the terrorists behind these attacks had not arrived from abroad! They were born and raised in Europe – second and third generation immigrants, EU citizens. It means that the problem runs much deeper than negative external influence alone. The problem is internal and rooted in the catastrophic immigration policy implemented by Europe so far.

Trying to resolve the terrorism problem as something isolated from immigration policy is like treating cancer with aspirin and wondering why aspirin does not help. Unfortunately, the report does not link the two issues together. Likewise, the report does not mention another problem that has been threatening Europe just like the flow of migrants and terrorism, a problem that spreads like tumour and disintegrates Europe from within – political correctness. We recently learned about law enforcement agencies in Germany, Sweden and other countries concealing mass crimes, spreading lies and disinformation to cover up facts that may sound politically incorrect. The events in Cologne represent just the tip of the iceberg that revealed how political correctness can victimise our citizens. Latvia has the duty to highlight this problem and save Europe from drowning in the swamp of political correctness.

And last but not least – about solidarity. Throughout last year, the minister brought up solidarity quite often. The solidarity of the European countries. And what about Nord Stream II in the context of solidarity? Why does the foreign policy report not mention this deal, which is quite similar to the Mistral escapades? Sure, Germany may not like it, but we have to protect our national interests. It is obvious that this project threatens the security of Latvia and the Baltic states, therefore we must not remain silent about it.
The National Alliance would like to wish the minister to be brave this year and to represent Latvia’s position even if it differs from what Merkel and Juncker say. Of course, it may not feel comfortable to disagree, but the Visegrad countries have shown that speaking up pays off. The threats of European bureaucrats to impose sanctions have not become reality in Hungary, Poland or any other – quote unquote – “disobedient” EU member states. This should be taken into account.
Thank you.

KomentāriKārtot pēc DatumaVērtējuma

Lai komentētu, ir jābūt autorizētam lietotājam.