What You Need To Know:
✓ Ojars Eriks Kalnins grew up in the US and has worked with Lativian government for over 25 years.
✓ Latvia should be an example and wants to help it’s eastern neighbors become true democracies.
✓"If you don’t solve crises in other parts of the world, sooner or later they will come to you. It’s like preventative health care, you have to nip these things in the bud."
✓ “You cannot ban lies or bad information, but you can defeat them by providing better information."
Latvian MP Ojars Eriks Kalnins believes the goal since Communism fell has been to try to help Latvia rejoin the world community, " We’ve done it very successfully through NATO and through the European Union. I see that now our goal is even more to help our neighboring countries, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova. We’ve succeeded to restore democracy and a normal way of live and we see that others are trying to do the same thing, and we want to help them. But to do that we need the full support of the 28 countries of Europe."
Responding as to why Europeans should care about events in Eastern Europe, "If you don’t solve crises in other parts of the world, sooner or later they will come to you (MH-17, migrant crises) It’s like preventative health care, you have to nip these things in the bud. “
He also believes clear communication and information analyses are key, “You cannot ban lies or bad information, but you can defeat them by providing better information. People should also know where they are getting their information from what is the source so they can judge it better and then understand which way to go.”
He elaborates that it’s not just about Russian propaganda, but also terrorist organizations such as Isis, “They are endangering our lives in what they are promoting and they want to create a society where they totally control information, they want to prevent what we talk about."
“We live in a globalized society and whatever happens on the other side of the planet, whether it’s climate change or natural disasters, we have to look at things globally."
Hromadske International's Maxim Eristavi spoke to Latian MP Ojars Eriks Kalnins in Riga in November, 2015.