On 6 May 2022, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, together with his Estonian and Lithuanian colleagues visited Ukraine. While in Kyiv, the Ministers met with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy; the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Ruslan Stefanchuk; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba; and the Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Olga Stefanishyna. The Ministers also visited the city of Irpin, a suburb of Kyiv, heavily affected by Russian invasion.
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs expressed strong support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and reaffirmed the solidarity of the Baltic States with the Ukrainian people in their fight against Russia’s aggression. Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania will continue to sustain their political and diplomatic pressure on Russia through standing up for stronger sanctions and working to achieve Russia’s isolation in international organisations.
The Foreign Ministers of the Baltic States affirmed strong support for Ukraine being granted the status of a candidate for membership in the European Union in the near future.
In their discussions, the Ministers also exchanged views on the ways to render practical assistance to Ukraine. Edgars Rinkēvičs underlined that Latvia was resolved to continue providing all kinds of assistance – political, military and humanitarian. Latvia will take part in the process of rebuilding Ukraine, the Minister said, naming the reconstruction of kindergartens and schools as an example. There are also plans to establish, in partnership with Ukrainian civil society, a centre for women and girls, victims of sexual violence during the hostilities.
As he visited the war-torn Irpin, Edgars Rinkēvičs underlined the need for applying all international judicial instruments to investigate war crimes and atrocities committed by the Russian army in Ukraine, and call those responsible to account.