Ārlietu ministrs tiekas ar Latvijā nesen akreditētajiem ārvalstu vēstniekiem

On 30 September 2022, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, met with the foreign ambassadors recently accredited to Latvia: the Ambassador of Estonia, Eerik Marmei; the Ambassador of Italy, Alessandro Monti; the Ambassador of Canada, Brian Szwarc; the Ambassador of Norway, Ine Måreng; the Ambassador of Slovenia, Tomaž Matjašec; the Ambassador of Finland, Anne Saloranta; and the Ambassador of Turkey, Şule Öztunç; and the Ambassador Agré of Spain, Manuel Alhama Orenes.

The meeting addressed current topics high on the international agenda with a special focus on the geopolitical situation in the region, energy-related issues and support for Ukraine. “Latvia does not recognise the sham referendums staged by Russia in the occupied territories of Ukraine and will never recognise the occupation and annexation of Ukrainian lands. Latvia will continue supporting Ukraine in every possible way as well as calling on other countries to do so,” the Foreign Minister pointed out in the conversation with the Ambassadors.

In a conversation with the Estonian Ambassador, Edgars Rinkēvičs highlighted the active political dialogue between the two countries. The Minister pointed out that Latvia and Estonia were cooperating closely both bilaterally and in international formats, with special attention being paid to the strengthening of security in the region, providing assistance to Ukraine, and sanctioning Russia. The relationship between the two countries holds a vast potential; enhancing cooperation in security policy, energy, the transport sector, as well as culture and education is of particular importance.

Edgars Rinkēvičs addressed the Ambassador of Italy expressing gratitude for Italy’s contribution to the strengthening of security in the Baltic region through participation in the NATO Air Policing mission and the Alliance’s enhanced Forward Presence battle group in Latvia. The Minister underlined that the engagement of Italian companies in the Rail Baltica project is highly valued, there still being a great potential for cooperation in transport, logistics, and innovation.

The Foreign Minister commended the strategic relations between Latvia and Canada, their close political dialogue and cooperation in the security sector. Edgars Rinkēvičs thanked the Ambassador for Canada’s invaluable contribution to the strengthening of security in the Baltic States, especially Latvia. The Minister emphasised that Latvia and Canada were among the greatest supporters of Ukraine, and it was vital that support to Ukraine continued, in particular, in the military, humanitarian and financial areas and in reconstruction.

The Foreign Minister welcomed the close relations between Latvia and Norway in NATO, the European Economic Area, and other international and regional formats. Edgars Rinkēvičs highly appreciated support from the Norwegian Financial Mechanism for the promotion of bilateral relations, especially in research and education. The Minister also called on Norwegian companies to continue investing in Latvia, and he highlighted the particular importance of Rail Baltica and energy projects, and the shipping industry.

In a conversation with the Ambassador of Slovenia, Edgars Rinkēvičs welcomed Slovenia’s decision to open an Embassy in Riga, The Foreign Minister thanked Slovenia for its contribution to the strengthening of the region’s security. As he characterised the Latvian-Slovenian relationship, the Minister noted the successful cooperation in the field of artificial intelligence, while underlining the opportunities for working together in biomedicine, bioeconomy and the areas of smart cities and smart energy.

As the Minister addressed the Ambassador of Finland, he emphasised that Latvia and Finland were linked by close friendship based on common understanding of and interest in regional issues. Edgars Rinkēvičs welcomed Finland’s upcoming membership of NATO, which would considerably foster security in the Baltic Sea region and across Europe and reinforce the Alliance’s deterrence and defence capabilities.

The Foreign Minister highly praised Spain’s participation in NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence battle group in Latvia and its regular engagement in the Baltic Air Policing mission. Edgars Rinkēvičs pointed out that Tilde, a Latvian language technology company, was successfully cooperating with several Spanish universities and companies. The Minister underlined the importance of expertise by Spanish companies involved in Rail Baltica, as well as expressing confidence in successful cooperation further along the project.

In an exchange of views on relations with Turkey, Edgars Rinkēvičs stressed that Turkey was an important cooperation partner to Latvia. The countries are engaged in an active political dialogue and have broad prospects for increasing trade. The Minister praised the Latvian-Turkish cooperation in the defence sector. Its further development is essential for the strengthening of the countries’ defence capabilities.