On 20 April 2022 in Riga, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, welcomed the German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock, on her first visit to Latvia. The Ministers exchanged views on Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, and the strong response measures taken by NATO and the European Union through reinforcing sanctions against Russia and continuing their assistance to Ukraine in every possible way.
The Minister noted that while EU Member States had accomplished much in providing practical assistance, Ukraine needed much broader support, including deliveries of new military equipment. More robust sanctions must also be imposed in the energy sector, and dependence on Russian gas and oil must be reduced, the Minister underlined, adding that every effort must be made to enable Ukraine to stand up to Russia’s aggression.
Edgars Rinkēvičs made note of Germany’s indispensable role in the strengthening of European security; he welcomed support provided by Germany and its military presence in the eastern flank of NATO. The Latvian Foreign Minister emphasised that at the NATO Madrid Summit coming up in June, Latvia will firmly stand up for a permanent NATO presence to be ensured in the region. NATO’s open door policy should also be underlined, while clearly defining Russia as one of the fundamental challenges and risks to European stability and peace, the Minister said.
Edgars Rinkēvičs underlined that Latvia had become a host country for Russia’s independent media in exile, and wanted to continue close cooperation with Germany in promoting media freedom and fighting disinformation. As reported, the staff of the Deutsche Welle Bureau in Moscow have relocated their operations to Riga.
According to the Minister, relationship with Germany is excellent. Germany is a dependable ally and friend, Edgars Rinkēvičs said.
Later this afternoon in Riga, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the three Baltic States and Germany will hold a meeting followed by a joint press conference. At 17.00, the press conference will be live-streamed on the Foreign Ministry’s website at www.mfa.gov.lv and its social media accounts.