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05/04/2024

Should the statement of the Latvian Foreign Minister be taken seriously?

Should the statement of the Latvian Foreign Minister be taken seriously?

Konstantin Kurylev, is a doctor of history, head of the Department of Theory and History of International Relations at the Patrice Lumumba Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia and director of the Centre for the Study of Post-Soviet Countries. Kurylev has given an expert commentary to the United World International. The issue in question: The Latvian Foreign Minister Baiba Braže’s statement about the possibility of Ukraine using received Western weapons for strikes on Russian territory.

Not an ordinary woman

“Firstly, attention should be paid to who made the statement. The Latvian Foreign Minister Baiba Braže is a career diplomat, she was Latvia’s ambassador to the Netherlands and the UK.

In 2020-2023, she was NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s deputy secretary general for public diplomacy. In this position, she advised the Secretary General on NATO issues under her purview, supervised the coordination of all strategic communications activities across all NATO civilian and military bodies and commands, and managed all public diplomacy activities. Baiba Braže played a key role in communicating the strategic and policy messages of the Alliance to opinion makers and the public in other countries.

This suggests that what she said was a deliberate move. She talked on purpose.”

The purposes of the statement

The expert then explained the purposes of the statement:

“Firstly, this statement was made during her visit to Ukraine and therefore intended to support the Kyiv authorities. After all, the situation on the front for Ukraine is very difficult. Every day, Russian troops are occupying more and more settlements, liberating them from Ukrainian nationalists. Such statements can be regarded as yet another attempt by the collective West to support and cheer up Ukraine and raise the morale of its armed forces. This also applies to the general Ukrainian public; with such statements, it is easier to justify the new stages of mobilization in Ukraine.

We can look at Braže’s words also from another angle. The United States is now preparing for the presidential election. The Baltic States and Latvia in particular are close allies of Washington and the current administration of Joe Biden. Therefore, the words about the possibility of using Western weapons to strike at the territory of Russia are also one of the ways to justify in the eyes of American citizens the very fact of transferring these weapons to Ukraine. Especially since it is the countries of Eastern Europe, including Latvia, that are the most radicalized against Russia and would like to see further escalation.”

“They couldn’t scare the Russian people”

The expert stressed that statements by other representatives of Western countries also show that the rhetoric about Kyiv’s support for shelling Russian territories is intensifying. Such a trend, in his opinion, is aimed precisely at intimidating the Russian public and setting it against the Russian authorities:

“All these years the Collective West has been trying to influence our public opinion, to turn it against the Russian authorities. Massive sanctions were used for this purpose at first, but they didn’t work, they didn’t succeed in swaying the situation in Russia. With the start of the Special Military Operation, the West tried to use some of the Russian citizens who opposed it, but their number was so small that it failed to provoke protests. Now they are using strikes on Russian territory to cause discontent among our people and bring them to the streets for protests. But we see that Russian citizens understand everything correctly and do not give in to provocations. On the contrary, whatever the Westerners do, the support for the Special Military Operation in Russian society is only growing.”

“The West intends to wage war to the last Ukrainian”

Konstantin Kurylev then concluded:

“Neither the West nor Ukraine think about the consequences of strikes on Russian territory. The West intends to wage war against Russia in Ukraine, as they say, ‘to the last Ukrainian’. At stake is Washington’s preservation of its role as a global power that sets the rules by which the rest of the world must live. In this context, Russia is one of the key geopolitical challenges for the United States.

The events taking place in Ukraine are seen from different angles depending on the information they consume and their understanding of the current moment. For some, Russia’s recognition of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic and the subsequent special operation to liberate the republics, demilitarize and denazify Ukraine are seen as one of the stages of the Ukrainian crisis. Some assess what is happening in terms of Russia’s relations with NATO or the EU. For some, what is happening in and around Ukraine is a conflict between Russia and the United States. All these approaches and visions of the current reality are fair and have the right to exist, but if we look deeper, these events themselves represent something more, beyond bilateral relations, beyond the borders of the western flank of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as a sub-region, beyond Europe and the Euro-Atlantic.

It seems that what we are witnessing is an element of the transformation of the modern world order based on the dominance of the Collective West led by the United States. In addition, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was right when he said that ‘this is a crucial, epochal moment in modern history, because it reflects the ‘battle’, in the broadest sense of the word, for what the world order will look like’. In such a battle, the West and first and foremost can go to great lengths just to maintain their positions. Allowing Ukraine to use Western weapons to strike Russian territory is one step in this direction.”

United World International

Independent analytical center where political scientists and experts in international relations from various countries exchange their opinions and views.

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