On Thursday, March 6, an extraordinary meeting of the European Council was held in Brussels on the situation in Ukraine where Latvia was represented by Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma. At the meeting, the Heads of State or Government adopted a joint statement.
In her address, the Prime Minister expressed the strong support of Latvia for Ukraine and emphasized that Russia, by military acts of aggression and by organizing the referendums, undermines the territorial integrity of this country. At the same time, the Prime Minister welcomed the current weighted position and efforts of the Ukrainian government to address the situation by peaceful means. ”The European Union has been active, and I believe that the EU institutions should continue to play the leading role in this process”.
At the meeting, Latvia supported signing of the Association Agreement with Ukraine as soon as possible, and called for accelerating the work on visa liberalisation”. At the same time it is necessary to speed up signing of the Association Agreements with Moldova and Georgia,” emphasized L.Straujuma.
”We stand for a dialogue and cooperation with Russia, however, not at the expense of sovereignty and territorial integrity of our partner countries,” emphasized L.Straujuma. ”Russia has to feel that the EU is united and determined. We have the tools, for instance, suspension of negotiations on the new EU-Russia treaty and suspension of the EU-Russia visa dialogue. At the same time, if Russia returns to honouring the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its neighbouring countries and fulfilment of its international commitments, we are ready to return to pragmatic and constructive cooperation with it”.
The Prime Minister highly appreciated the proposals of the European Commission in support of Ukraine, which aim to attract EUR 11 billion from different European and international financial institutions. ”I would like to express gratitude to Mr Barroso, President of the European Commission for a support package for Ukraine that the EC had prepared in such a short time. Latvia fully supports it,” stressed L.Straujuma.
The European Council was also informed about the humanitarian aid that Latvia has already provided to Ukraine: medical equipment and medical aid, offering treatment during the protests for victims on both sides. ”In case of necessity, Latvia is ready to further provide this kind of support to Ukraine,” confirmed L.Straujuma.
The meeting of the Heads of State or Government started with participation of Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk who informed about the latest developments and readiness of Ukraine to implement all necessary reforms to lead the country out of crisis.
The extraordinary meeting of the European Council was convened by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council with the objective to discuss the developments in Ukraine and search the ways to de-escalate tensions in this country.
for Public Relations Affairs
Information prepared by:
Press Secretary to the Permanent Representation
of Latvia to the EU