Cooperation with countries News
Baiba Braže un Elina Valtonen
Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

On 13 June 2024 Minister of Foreign Affairs Baiba Braže paid a working visit to Finland, where she met  Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland Elina Valtonen and Speaker of the Parliament of Finland Eduskunta Jussi Halla-aho.

The Ministers discussed bilateral relations and regional security issues between Latvia and Finland, highlighting the successful cooperation in strengthening the capacity of the military industry, and agreed that the maximum potential should be used to advance it further. Baiba Braže stressed that in the current geopolitical situation, it is necessary to join forces to strengthen the defence capabilities of countries and the region, and Latvia and Finland are setting an excellent example in this respect. 

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Baiba Braže: “Finland is our old friend and ally  – we share a common understanding and vision on security issues, on support for Ukraine in its fight to win the war, and on Ukraine’s future in the EU and NATO. We take Russian propaganda equally seriously and understand the potential consequences of disinformation on public wellbeing because the “first war front” is in our heads. Especially in the current geopolitical reality, every ally and like-minded party is of great value and Elina Valtonen and I appreciated the increasingly close and united cooperation between the Nordic and Baltic countries, including on issues crucial for Ukraine.”

Discussing the current situation on the eastern borders of Latvia and Finland, the Ministers agreed on the need to continue working together to achieve EU-level solutions to fight the instrumentalisation of migration. The Ministers also discussed further support to Ukraine, including in preparation for the upcoming NATO Summit in Washington on 9–11 July. The Ministers also stressed the importance of coordinated action in adopting further new EU sanctions against Russia, as well as working to prevent the circumvention of existing sanctions and improve their implementation.

In her meeting with  Speaker of the Parliament of Finland Jussi Halla-aho, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, welcomed the strong parliamentary dimension of the Baltic and Nordic countries (NB8) and confirmed Latvia’s interest in deepening bilateral parliamentary cooperation with Finland. Discussing the issues of national defence and strengthening the resilience of society, Baiba Braže highly appreciated Finland’s long-standing experience in building a comprehensive national defence system, from which Latvia could also learn and borrow a great deal.

During the visit, Baiba Braže met President of the Nordic Investment Bank André Küüsvek. The Minister of Foreign Affairs stressed that the opening of a regional office in Riga will provide new opportunities for attracting financing for the Latvian economy. The Minister also praised the bank’s efforts in reviewing its sustainability policy to better respond to today’s geopolitical challenges.

During the visit, Baiba Braže will take part in a discussion organised by President of Finland Alexander Stubb at Kultaranta Talks. Together with Minister for Foreign Affairs of Poland Radosław Sikorski and Governor of the Bank of Finland Dr. Olli Rehn,  Minister Braže will discuss the future of European external relations. Baiba Braže will call to reinforce European defence and will stress that disinformation must be tackled on a global scale, including preventing threats to the security in Europe.

13.-14.06.2024. Ārlietu ministres Baibas Bražes darba vizīte Somijā