On 24 January 2022, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, took part in the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, at which EU Foreign Ministers discussed, among other topics, the security situation in Ukraine. The ministers also heard the United States Secretary of State share information on further steps to be taken by the USA concerning security-related developments at the EU border, especially the security situation in Ukraine and across the region.
In view of the drastic deterioration in security conditions at the EU and NATO border escalated by a massive build-up of Russia’s forces near the eastern border of Ukraine and in Belarus, the Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs called for expanding the presence of NATO’s Allied forces, including those of the USA, in the Baltic Sea region.
Edgars Rinkēvičs expressed Latvia’s support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, underlining the need for progress in negotiation in the Normandy Four format. No delay is permissible with devising additional measures to build Ukraine’s resilience and strengthen its defence capabilities, underlined the Minister, adding that Latvia is prepared to deliver both lethal and non-lethal equipment to Ukraine.
The Latvian Foreign Minister stated a position that, in its relations with Russia, the EU should retain unity and an approach driven by principles laid down by the European Union. The Russian Federation’s unilateral demands concerning security guarantees and revision of the European security architecture, which poses increased risks to stability and security, cannot be the basis for further talks, Edgars Rinkēvičs underlined. Latvia supports diplomatic contacts with Russia in NATO, the OSCE and the USA-Russia dialogue. The EU must continue with its support for the strengthening of Ukraine’s resilience and the preparation of strong sanctions on Russia, the Minister noted.