Espreso. Global

Latvia urges Britain to alter defense model to deter Russia

17 March, 2024 Sunday
17:50

Latvian Foreign Minister Krisjanis Karins has called on the UK to consider a total defense model allowing for the rapid conscription of large number of people

The Telegraph reported the information.

According to the minister, Great Britain will also inevitably have to increase its defense spending to 3% of GDP.

Latvia, which shares a 214-kilometer border with Russia, introduced conscription as part of its total defense after the invasion of Ukraine. According to this model, all able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 27 are required to serve for 11 months.

Asked whether the UK and other countries should look at the Latvian model, Mr Kariņs said: “We would strongly recommend this. We are developing and fleshing out a system of what we call a total defence involving all parts of civil society.”

Karins explained that his country has borrowed some elements of the Finnish conscription system, under which Finland has a small standing army “but a very large, very well-trained” war-time reserve “so they can easily call up a 250,000 trained military”.

Tobias Ellwood, a former minister and ex-chairman of the Commons defence committee, said on Saturday that the UK should take Mr Karins’ suggestion seriously.

“With Putin securing another six years in office and seeking to emulate Stalin and expand his influence, we too should be reviewing our total defence model,” he emphasized.

In addition, the Latvian foreign minister said that Britain was “crucial” to the security of the Baltic states and that NATO would defend itself “from the first square centimetre."

“We need to plan and train and supply and plan and train and supply and make that visible to the Russians,” he said. “We will not stop them from wanting to have imperialistic ambitions, but we can make sure they don’t consider coming our way,” he emphasized.

Karins said Europe would have to deal with a “dangerous Russia for a long time to come”, predicting that the country’s “imperialistic ambitions” would outlive Putin.

  • On February 15, it became known that the United Kingdom and Latvia would lead an international coalition to provide Ukraine with drones, which would give the country thousands of UAVs, including FPV drones.
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