On 10 November, the Foreign Minister of the Baltic States held their annual meeting in the sidelines of the Baltic Council to discuss the security climate in the region – the evaluation of the ZAPAD-2017 exercise, preparations for the NATO Brussels Summit in 2018, and the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit.
In a discussion on preparations for the Eastern Partnership Summit to be held in Brussels in a couple of weeks, Edgars Rinkēvičs outlined the position of Latvia, which is expecting partners to make a political commitment of greater contribution towards a more active implementation of reforms, especially in Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus. Latvia believes it is important to follow the differentiation principle, since it supports the partners’ individual paths in pursuit of their relationship with the European Union.
It is essential to keep the Eastern Partnership as a priority on the European Union agenda also after the Summit, Minister Rinkēvičs noted. Latvia’s interests lie in economically strong, democratic and resilient partner countries. Consequently, the European Union and its Member States should move ahead with their support to the partners in carrying out reforms, said the Latvian Foreign Minister.
The parties also shared views on further defence and security policy with the United States of America. It was confirmed that current cooperation with the new U.S. administration has been successful, and cooperation with the U.S. in the area of security and defence should be continued.