News NB8
Baltijas valstu un Ziemeļvalstu (NB8) ārlietu ministru sanāksme 2024. gada aprīlī
Photo: Karl Melander, Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

On 9 and 10 April 2024, Visby in Sweden hosted the annual meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Baltic States and Nordic countries (NB8). Latvia was represented at the event by the Under Secretary, Political Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Andžejs Viļumsons.

At the meeting, the officials discussed topical issues of high importance for the region, including regional security and preparations for the NATO summit in Washington this coming July, the reduction of threats posed by Russia, developments in Belarus, and the provision of sweeping support to Ukraine. The possibilities of cooperation in the NB8 format with global partners were also discussed, which is of special importance to promote understanding of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

Andžejs Viļumsons emphasized that the NB8 format was the best positioned to discuss Latvia’s security, because there was a common understanding of threats and a shared vision of how to proceed. Russia will remain a long-term threat.

The NB8 Foreign Ministers’ meeting is traditionally the most important event of the presidency year, in which discussions are following up on the priorities set. Swedish colleagues presented this year’s priorities for cooperation between the NB8 member countries: to strengthen security cooperation in the NB8 region; to remain committed to the unwavering support for Ukraine and its right to freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity; and to ensure continued global support for Ukraine. The officials exchanged views on the ways to enhance further cooperation.

Sweden’s accession to NATO considearbly strengthens the region’s security and resilience. As part of the meeting, the participants visited the Gotland Regiment of the Swedish Armed Forces.

Background information

The NB8 (Nordic–Baltic Eight) partnership comprises Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden.  Cooperation between the Baltic and Nordic countries has been very close since early 1990s, when they were active in the N5+B3 format, which was then transformed into the NB8 format in 2007.

In 2024, Sweden chairs the NB8 cooperation at the level of Ministries of Foreign Affairs, while at the parliamentary level, cooperation is coordinated by Latvia.