Whilst in Romania, Edgars Rinkēvičs discusses issues high on the EU and NATO agendas

06.07.2018. 09:50

On 5 July 2018, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, was on an official visit in Romania, where he met with his counterpart, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Teodor Viorel-Meleşcanu, the President of Romania Klaus Iohannis, and Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă.

The officials were unanimous that both countries have good and friendly relations at all levels; however, they noted that economic cooperation should be strengthened, and focused on smart technologies as a potential sector for cooperation. In a conversation with the Romanian Foreign Minister, both sides agreed to work on the organisation of a business forum in the near future. Edgars Rinkēvičs highlighted the opportunity to expand cooperation on cyber-security and cyber-defence.

In meetings with Romanian officials, Edgars Rinkēvičs discussed security policy issues, whilst directing special focus to the upcoming NATO Summit. Foreign Minister Rinkēvičs underlined that security challenges in the Baltic States and the Black Sea region should be addressed with equal attention. The Minister welcomed the EU-NATO cooperation, military mobility in particular, being put on the agenda of the NATO Summit as one of its central topics. Edgars Rinkēvičs accented that the EU-NATO cooperation should be mutually complementary, instead of duplicating efforts.

During the visit, prominence was given to EU-related issues. Edgars Rinkēvičs noted that Latvia and Romania had a similar vision of the EU’s future in many aspects. Latvia does not want to lose the content, level of cooperation and quality of the integration process currently underway. The Latvian Foreign Minister called for closer coordination of the positions of both countries on the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework, especially in the matters of cohesion and common agricultural policies.

Edgars Rinkēvičs emphasised that the proposal to decrease significantly the funding to those policies highly important for Latvia was unacceptable for his country. When planning the EU budget for the next period, it is vital to retain balance between EU policies: although the tackling of migration issues and protection of external borders are highly important, the Cohesion Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy should not suffer at their cost, noted the Minister. The Foreign Minister and the Romanian officials also discussed the EU-U.S. relationship, the Eastern Partnership issues, and the state of affairs in the Western Balkans.

The visit of the Latvian Foreign Minister to Romania has a symbolic significance: it has taken place in a year when both states are celebrating their centenaries. In 2018, Romania is celebrating 100 years since the unification of the state, and the first half of 2019 will see the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. As part of the visit, the Foreign Ministers of both countries jointly launched a publication entitled “History of Latvia” in the Romanian language, prepared by Latvian and Romanian historians.

 

 


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