RIGA, Oct 1 (Reuters) – Latvian Prime Minister Kriszjanis Karins’ centre-right New Unity Party is on course to win national elections on Saturday, a poll showed, after a campaign dominated by security concerns following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
If confirmed, this would result in Latvia joining its Baltic neighbors Lithuania and Estonia as a leading voice in pushing the EU to take a decisive stance against Russia.
Motorists pass a giant election campaign poster depicting Latvian Prime Minister Kriszjanis Karins of the New Unity Party in Riga, Latvia on September 28, 2022. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins
But amid widespread national anger over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine, it could widen the divide between the country’s Latvian majority and its Russian-speaking minority over their place in society.
Karins, 57, the first Latvian head of government to survive a full four-year term, benefited from his Russia policy that restricted the entry of Russian citizens traveling from Russia and Belarus.
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Reporting by Andrias Sydas in Vilnius and Janice Lysons in Riga; Editing by Justina Pavlak and David Holmes