Karlis Bukovskis

Deputy Director of Latvian Institute for International Affairs, Karlis Bukovskis talk to The Democrat about the Russian threat for Europe, the West and the Baltic States. The researcher said that the first intention of Moscow is to show more strenght than the West, especially to the European Union

How real is the Russian threat?

The Russian threat is there. The percentage of a real military attack is not more than 10%, 15% because we still live in a world where Russia think about the consequences of an actions. In case of Baltic States, we are not under immediate threat, but before the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine, Russia was not seen as an immediate threat.

What is the political purpose of Moscow?

Russia intention is to show West, NATO, and European Union that they are weak.

Why Ukraine collapsed so easily?

In case of Ukraine, there were multiple things. First, they weren´t part of NATO and there was no unanimity in support them. Second, Ukraine is much bigger. Third, Kiev trusted Russia because they have a big cooperation, including in the military and intelligence issues.

European Union could hold this problem?

In this moment of time, European Union alone is not capable to do the same function as NATO.

What separates Latvia from Russia?

The Three Baltic states are part of European Union, Eurozone, and NATO. In the 90´s, the idea was to integrate with the West. People understood that the current live situation in the Baltic States is better than the alternatives.

Which Western European Country is an example for Latvian democracy?

The economical approach of democracies such as Sweden and Finland served as a model for Baltic countries.

Brexit is an opportunity for countries like Portugal and Latvia?

Latvia and Portugal could gain more seats in the European Parliament after Brexit.