(Bloomberg) -- The European Central Bank must lift interest rates to levels that “significantly” restrict the economy, according to Governing Council member Martins Kazaks, who argued that hikes may need to persist beyond the next meeting in March.

Describing inflation risks as “still tilted on the upside,” the hawkish head of Latvia’s central bank said the eventual peak in borrowing costs will have to be maintained for a while to ensure that the euro zone’s worst-ever spike in prices is tamed. 

“We’ll raise rates significantly into restrictive territory and we’ll keep them there for quite some time,” Kazaks said Wednesday in an interview.

“It’s natural to expect rate increases will slow to smaller increments, but we’re not there yet,” he said. “I’m very aligned with the 50 basis-point increase in March and after March I don’t see a reason to take a pause or stop rate increases.”

The remarks underscore the enduring appetite among many ECB officials for more large rate moves — even as the Federal Reserve slows the pace of its own hikes.

While the Baltic region saw inflation zoom past 25% at its peak, it’s now receding, like it is in the 20-nation euro zone. That didn’t stop the ECB from raising borrowing costs by another half-point last week and revealing plans for an identical move next month. The fear now is underlying price growth, which hit a record in January.

With the headline number retreating largely thanks to a weather-driven plunge in energy costs, Executive Board member Isabel Schnabel said Tuesday that the ECB’s unprecedented monetary tightening to date has had little effect on prices.

Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel warned the same day not to underestimate the inflation challenge, telling German newspaper Boersen-Zeitung that more “significant” rate increases will be required.

Another half-point move may be warranted at the ECB’s May meeting, Dutch central bank chief Klaas Knot said Wednesday. 

Kazaks said investors should pay attention to comments by President Christine Lagarde, who’s vowed that the ECB will “stay the course” in bringing inflation back to the 2% medium-term target from more than four times that now.

Money markets are pricing a peak deposit rate of about 3.5% — up from 2.5% currently and below zero as recently as mid-2022.

--With assistance from James Hirai.

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