On 20 December 2018 in Riga, the Political Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jānis Mažeiks, welcomed the Political Director of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Jean-Christophe Belliard, in Riga for political consultations and a discussion on topics of current importance to the foreign affairs of the European Union (EU) – relations with Russia and the Eastern Neighbours, recent developments in Asia and the Middle East, as well as the EU’s relations with the Western Balkans countries.
One of the central topics at the consultations was the Russia-Ukraine conflict, with a special focus being placed on Russia’s aggressive actions in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. The Political Directors underlined the need for achieving the de-escalation of the situation and demanding that Russia immediately release the seized Ukrainian naval vessels and detained sailors.
In a discussion about the EU–Central Asia relations, Jānis Mažeiks made a special mention of Latvia’s efforts in support of the economic growth and security in the region, strengthening of contacts in education and connectivity, as well as deepening the region’s cooperation with the EU.
Jānis Mažeiks underlined that in 2019, when the Eastern Partnership would celebrate the decade since its launch, it was vital to reconfirm the EU’s commitments and strengthen its support for all the Eastern Partnership countries, whilst also reflecting on the tasks for the future.
Other topics discussed at the consultations were transatlantic relations and latest development in the Middle East, including the EU’s relations with Iran, the state of affairs in Yemen, and the Middle East Peace Process.
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