The annual meeting of e-PINE (Enhanced Partnership in Northern Europe), with participation of political directors from the foreign services of the United States, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, as well as Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden is held in Kyiv, Ukraine, on 19 and 20 June. Latvia is represented at the meeting by the Political Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Eduards Stiprais.
The e-PINE event is devoted to Ukrainian crisis, and at the meetings with Ukrainian officials, the participants discussed Russia's aggression against Ukraine, the annexation of Crimea, and the further Ukraine-EU and Ukraine-NATO relations. Opinions were also exchanged on the further EU policy in the Eastern Partnership states in the light of Russia's aggressive policies. During the visit, a meeting also took place with the Head of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. A separate meeting was held with representatives of Ukraine's civil society to exchange opinions on the current developments in the country.
At the event, Political Director Stiprais expressed strong support for the Ukrainian President's peace plan and Ukraine's efforts of resuming control and restoring peace over the whole territory of the country. Mr Stiprais also condemned Russia's actions towards destabilizing the situation in Ukraine, which includes sending Russian heavy weapons to separatists in the east of Ukraine.
The e-PINE initiative was launched in 2003 as a continuation of the U.S.-Baltic Partnership Charter on a broader scale, with the purpose of enhancing and sustaining U.S. cooperation with the Baltic and Nordic region. The main fields of cooperation within the e-PINE format are security policy, neighbourhood policy and an active development of economic relations.