On 26 August 2021, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, on an invitation from the Minister of State for Europe at the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, Michael Roth, took part in the consultations between the Baltic States and Germany and a public discussion titled “100 Years of Baltic – German Diplomatic Relations: Young Perspectives for a future-oriented Europe”.
The consultations addressed developments in Belarus and Afghanistan, evacuation from where is underway, and the issues high on the European Union agenda were also discussed. As concerns the situation on the border with Belarus, the Parliamentary Secretary underlined that the efforts of the Lukashenko regime to weaponise migration thus destabilising the situation in the region are unacceptable.
The illegal border crossing orchestrated by Belarus is a hybrid attack on the eastern border of the EU and NATO. Belarus seeks to destabilise the situation in the region, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica noted.
The consultations were followed by a public discussion on the future of Europe, in which school and university students from the Baltic States had also been invited to contribute. In her address to the participants, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica said she was happy that young people are being actively involved in the debate on Europe’s future.
The participants of the public discussion voiced their opinions on the future of the EU as a union of values, the EU’s climate action, the impact of the Nord Stream 2 project on the economies and security of the EU and Ukraine, and the unacceptable human rights situation in Belarus. The Parliamentary Secretary reaffirmed that Latvia continues and will continue to give support to the civil society and the independent media of Belarus.
The meeting and public discussion were organised to mark the centenary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Germany and the Baltic States. The Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Arnoldas Prankevičius, and the Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Märt Volmer, also took part in the meeting.
In the public discussion, Latvia was represented by students from Riga State Gymnasium No. 3, Madona State Gymnasium, Riga German Gymnasium, Riga Zolitūde Gymnasium, Riga Secondary School No. 13, Riga State Gymnasium No. 1, Riga English Gymnasium, Riga Stradiņš University, Ulbroka Secondary School, and Jaundubulti Secondary School.