Russia is not interested in exerting much influence upon Latvia, the executive director of the Centre for East European Policy Studies, Riga, Andris Kudors announced, mixnews.lv reports.
“The key emphasis of Russia is not on the Baltic countries, but on Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Belarus. The willingness to influence the elections in Latvia, undoubtedly, persists, but the basic accent is on other countries of the former Soviet Union,” Kudors believes.
He added that key instruments of the influence upon Latvia are Russian TV channels that are widely popular among the Russian-speaking population. According to him, three Russian channels are among the six most popular channels. “It is not correct saying that the television does not play any serious role,” Kudors added.
Meanwhile, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said during his visit to the United States that the threat from Russia should not be underestimated. “"The very basis of our democratic institutions are under attack through social media by fake news, and also through the influence of money, and it is very important that we stick together. Baltic nations warn US not to underestimate Russia threat,” Rinkevics posted in Twitter.
On March 6, Rinkevics had meetings with Congressman Eliot Engel and Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Ed Royce. He said that the military assistance rendered by the US is still irreplaceable.
He stressed that they are interested in the US preserving its military presence in the Baltic countries and Poland. Besides, the minister thanked American congressmen for frequent visits to the Baltic states. According to him, this is a clear signal of their support.