The counterterrorism strategy for Latvia developed by VDD has been approved

On Tuesday, 2 November, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia approved the counterterrorism strategy for Latvia developed by Latvian State Security Service (VDD) for the years 2021-2026.

On Tuesday, 2 November, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia approved the counterterrorism strategy for Latvia developed by Latvian State Security Service (VDD) for the years 2021-2026. The purpose of the strategy is to create a common understanding among the institutions implementing counterterrorism measures about the most important work directions in the next five years in order to secure the readiness of the responsible institutions to effectively prevent possible terrorism threats and to eliminate their consequences.

"Today more than ever we have to take care of the internal security of our country. The challenges from hostile neighboring countries have not decreased and neither have the risks of radicalization here in Latvia. The inter-institutional cooperation, especially the cooperation between institutions dealing with internal affairs and law enforcement institutions, is of a high significance," stated the Minister of the Interior of Latvia Marija Golubeva.  

"Terrorism threats are the everyday reality which people are facing in many countries, and the developments in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and in other conflict regions clearly show that Europe will feel their consequences also in the next five years," pointed the Director General of Latvian State Security Service Normunds Mežviets. "The analysis of tendencies carried out by VDD does not indicate an increase in terrorism threats in Latvia in a foreseeable future. At the same time the involvement of separate persons in terrorist activities cannot be excluded. In order to ensure the capabilities of the responsible services to identify and prevent terrorism threats as soon as possible as well as to effectively react in the case of a terrorist act, the work towards the strengthening of the Latvian counterterrorism system has to be carried out continuously. Development of the counterterrorism strategy was one of the steps in this work in order to create a common understanding about priorities in this sphere for the institutions involved in counter-terrorism measures."

The terrorism threat level in Latvia is low. In VDD’s assessment the most significant risks also in the next five years will be posed by radicalization of separate individuals and their communication with representatives of terrorist and extremist organizations abroad, as well as by persons who once joined the terrorist group Daesh and travelled to Syria or Iraq.

Until now the priorities of the counterterrorism field were included in the National Security Concept and in the National Security Plan, whereas now they are defined in a comprehensive document – Latvian counterterrorism strategy.

In the strategy the seven main Latvian counterterrorism system’s directions are characterized: international cooperation, prevention of radicalization and violent extremism, limitation of terrorist freedom of action, development of terrorism risk object protection, development of regulations and counterterrorism plans, improvement of the preparedness of institutions involved in counterterrorism activities and promotion of  society’s participation.

The counterterrorism strategy is developed based on VDD’s analysis of terrorism threat tendencies as well as on VDD’s assessment about the development of security situation in Latvia and in Europe in the following years.

The following institutions, represented also in VDD’s Counter Terrorism Center’s advisory board, were involved in the development of the strategy: Defence Intelligence and Security Service, Constitution Protection Bureau, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Armed Forces, Prosecutor General’s Office, Financial Intelligence Unit, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, Financial and Capital Market Commission.

Also the principles set in the counterterrorism strategies of the United Nations, the European Union and other international organizations, in which Latvia has the membership status, have been observed when developing the strategy.

Latvian counterterrorism strategy for 2021-2026 is a public document available to everyone.

VDD is the leading institution of Latvian counterterrorism system and coordinates the work of state and municipal institutions as well as other legal bodies in the counterterrorism field.

Information prepared by VDD and Ministry of the Interior