International Desk, Feb 24 (EFE).- Baltic states said on Thursday they were prepared to welcome large numbers of Ukrainian refugees as thousands are trying to flee Ukraine after Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered its military invasion.
Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia also said they were examining ways to guarantee energy supplies adding that their national security was not being threatened for the time being.
“In Latvia we are safe, we are part of the Nato military alliance which is the most powerful in the world,” Latvian prime minister, Krisjanis Karins, told reporters after an emergency government meeting.
Karins comments came after Nato announced it was activating “defense plans” by reinforcing its eastern flank.
Latvia’s minister of economics, Janis Vitenbergs, said Latvenergo, Latvia’s state-owned electric utility company, was looking at buying LNG from Qatar, the United States and Norway amid concerns Russia could cut off natural gas supply.
Meanwhile, Latvia’s minister of interior, Marija Golubeva, and her Lithuanian counterpart Agne Bilotaite said they have been preparing for an influx of Ukrainian refugees for two weeks already.
“We are ready for different scenarios for the arrival of several to tens of thousands of people,” Bilotaite said.
Golubeva said border guards would grant asylum to the refugees and house them in hotels and guest houses while permitting them to work in Latvia.
Thousands of Ukrainians, including women and children, were seen queuing at the land border with Romania to cross by foot.
Images broadcasted by the Romanian public news agency, Agerpres, showed a caravan of people, some with small children or babies, carrying suitcases and sports bags. END