On 9 June 2023, at the LAMPA Festival in Cēsis, Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Gunda Reire, met with Anna Lührmann, Minister of State for European Affairs and Climate of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to discuss current bilateral, regional and security policy issues.
Gunda Reire welcomed the active bilateral dialogue between Latvia and Germany: “I am pleased with the long-standing and close cooperation between Latvia and Germany, both bilaterally and in multilateral formats, on many issues of European importance. Germany is a reliable strategic partner and ally of Latvia. Both our countries stand for a strong, secure and competitive Europe and cooperate on issues of European importance. Latvia highly values Germany's involvement in strengthening the security of the Baltic region, as it brings us closer to a common higher goal – peace and stability in Europe and around the world.”
The Parliamentary Secretary noted with satisfaction the close economic ties between Latvia and Germany – Germany is Latvia's third largest trading partner in both exports and imports. The two countries enjoy excellent cooperation in transport and logistics, information and communication technologies, as well as in the high value-added timber industry. Of particular note is Germany’s close involvement in the RailBaltica project, providing railway technical expertise and promoting RailBaltica opportunities in German companies and industries. Equally important is cooperation in the field of energy, namely work on the Baltic WindConnector interconnector and the development of offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea. It is also in Latvia’s interest to cooperate more closely in the field of technological innovation, including research and development, product development and manufacturing.
The discussion focused on Russia’s war in Ukraine, which has irreversibly changed the strategic security environment and created new challenges for the security and economic stability of the European Union. The officials discussed the military and humanitarian support provided by Germany and Latvia to Ukraine to date and agreed on the need for continued support in the long term, the promotion of Ukraine's reconstruction and the establishment of an international tribunal for crimes committed by Russia.
Talks continued with a discussion on the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the Europe. Gunda Reire outlined the priorities of the Latvian Presidency: strengthening democracy and the rule of law, freedom of expression, the safety of journalists and the promotion of the digital agenda, as well as the progress of the Council of Europe reforms.
During the LAMPA festival, the two officials took part in a discussion organised by the German Embassy in Latvia on “Diplomacy and Foreign Policy in Times of Crisis”.