During political consultations in Washington from 17 to 19 March, Foreign Ministry State Secretary Andrejs Pildegovičs met with high-ranking U.S. officials to discuss the current developments in Ukraine and their impact on the situation in the entire region, as well as to review security policy matters and Latvia-United States bilateral relations.
At the meetings of State Secretary Pildegovičs with the United States Deputy Secretary of State, William Burns and Senior Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council, Karen Donfried, the parties evaluated the events in Ukraine, the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and solutions to prevent further escalation. U.S. officials reiterated the invariable position of the U.S. regarding Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. The talks addressed concrete steps to enhance NATO presence in the Baltic region, through increasing not only airspace patrolling but also other type of military presence.
The parties recognised that the issue of reducing energy dependence and the need to diversify energy supplies was a matter of strategic importance. The officials were at one that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership talks should be concluded within the shortest term possible to expand the significance of transatlantic economic contacts and create a joint economic and political bloc of the EU and the USA. Other topics discussed were possibilities for closer cooperation with the EU's Eastern Partnership countries and the signing of the Association Agreement with Ukraine and, in a more distant future, with Moldova and Georgia.
During political consultations in Washington, State Secretary Andrejs Pildegovičs met with Director of the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency, Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Eric Rubin, Executive Director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership, Kurt Volker and other officials.