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On 24 April 2023, in response to the statements of the Ambassador of China to France, Lu Shaye, during his TV interview on 21 April 2023, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia summoned the Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the Embassy of China in Latvia, Song Danhui, to a meeting to provide explanations. 

During the conversation, the Director of the Second Bilateral Relations Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Samija Šerifa, indicated that the statements of China’s Ambassador to France questioning the “effective status in international law” of certain countries were utterly unacceptable to Latvia.

Samija Šerifa noted that the international community had unequivocally recognized the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries that gained their independence upon the break-up of the Soviet Union. Aggression by the Russian Federation in breach of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is a blatant violation of international law.

Samija Šerifa also drew attention to the fact that the Baltic States were illegally occupied and annexed while they continued to exist de iure as sovereign states; accordingly, they have never been Soviet states despite their de facto incorporation in the Soviet Union.

Samija Šerifa pointed out that statements of this kind voiced by the Chinese Ambassador in France were in clear contradiction to the position of China concerning support for all countries’ sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity enshrined in the United Nations Charter. Such statements are also not conducive to further EU-China dialogue.