Interviewed on June 5 by Russian media, Latvian President Guntis Ulmanis expressed his “disagreement with those politicians who propose that Latvia adopt the Finnish security model and choose nonalignment.” Ulmanis pointed out that Finland’s historical experience differs from that of Latvia, which lost its independence after World War II and sustained heavy human losses. Its overall situation today also causes Latvia, unlike Finland, to fear for its security, Ulmanis concluded. (Russian agencies, June 5)
Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov and other Russian officials have in recent months publicly urged the three Baltic states to opt for Finlandization or other neutrality models. Mass-naturalization of Latvia’s large Russian population would enable Moscow to block Latvia’s path to NATO by manipulating the country’s internal political processes. “Finlandization” of Latvia could in turn preclude the accession of Estonia and Lithuania to NATO, since the alliance (unlike the European Union) treats the three Baltic states as a unit.
REALISTIC MILITARY EXERCISE IN LATVIA.