On 28 November 2022, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, together with the Baltic and Nordic Ministers of Foreign Affairs visited Kyiv, Ukraine. In the course of their visit, the Foreign Ministers met with the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, the Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Olha Stefanishyna, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba.
Edgars Rinkēvičs underlined that Latvia supported efforts to establish a Special Tribunal for the investigation into and prosecution of the crime of aggression. A strong, united and decisive response is needed to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the Minister said. There is currently no international mechanism having jurisdiction over the investigation and prosecution of Russia’s crime of aggression. Latvia believes that such a loophole in accountability mechanisms cannot be permitted, in order to prevent similar crimes from occurring again. Setting up a special tribunal is not an easy matter; nevertheless, a vast political support would send an unambiguous signal to Russia that impunity will not be tolerated, the Latvian Foreign Minister pointed out.
Edgars Rinkēvičs also noted that Russia would have to compensate Ukraine for losses caused during the war. The Minister said that Latvia welcomes the resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on the need to establishing an international mechanism of reparation for aggression against Ukraine, and a register to document the evidence of damage caused by Russia.
At the same time, Edgars Rinkēvičs noted that Latvian companies, local authorities and individual donors were actively providing support with the aim of resumption of power supply in Ukraine. The Minister reaffirmed that Latvia was prepared to offer assistance towards the reconstruction of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
Commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor, the Foreign Minister underlined that Russia was again weaponising food. Russia commits crimes against Ukrainian people by targeting and destroying Ukraine’s energy infrastructure to leave people without light, heating, and also without food. “Russia sees that it cannot win on the battlefield because Ukraine is strong, and transatlantic partners are united in their support for Ukraine. Therefore, Russia resorts to terrorist methods again,” the Foreign Minister noted.
A joint visit to Kyiv was made by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden.
Joint Statement of the Foreign Ministers https://mfa.gov.ua/en/news/joint-statement-foreign-ministers-estonia-finland-iceland-latvia-lithuania-norway-sweden-and-ukraine
Foto: Mindaugas Mikulėnas, Lietuvas Ārlietu ministrija