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NATO bolstering eastern flank sends “very clear signal to Moscow,” Latvian Prime Minister says

Jennifer Hansler and Kylie Atwood

Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš hailed the decisions made by NATO leaders in Madrid to bolster its presence on the alliance’s eastern flank, calling it a “very, very clear signal to Moscow.”

In an interview with CNN Wednesday, the Baltic state leader noted that “in a sense, everything that we’ve been arguing for has been clearly heard,” saying the change in posture is “a change from a tripwire defense to a forward defense.”

“Until now, many NATO leaders have repeated and repeated that NATO will be defending and will defend every inch of NATO territory,” Kariņš told CNN. “Now … there’s action behind those words.”

Kariņš said he would like to see support for Ukraine move even more quickly, because “the faster we in NATO can provide weapons, munitions and training, the sooner the war will come to an end.”

“I think a diplomatic solution will be reached once Russia realizes it is losing or has lost the war and then Russia will come to the table,” he said.

Some context: Speaking at the NATO summit in Madrid on Wednesday, President Joe Biden said the United States would establish a permanent headquarters for the Fifth Army Corps in Poland and enhance rotational deployments to the Baltic states. Latvia is one of the Baltic states, and shares land borders with both Russia and Belarus.

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