On 16 May 2019 in Riga, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, met with the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, for a discussion on bilateral political and economic cooperation, Ukraine’s course towards the European Union (EU), the Eastern Partnership policy, and cooperation between Ukraine and NATO.
Edgars Rinkēvičs noted that Latvia and Ukraine have excellent political relations and their economic cooperation shows an increasingly positive, upward trend.
The Latvian Foreign Minister praised the conduct of the Ukrainian presidential elections in line with international standards, which confirms that the Ukrainian people have made their choice in a free and democratic way.
“Ukraine is a priority country for Latvia in the implementation of its development cooperation policy and in the provision of assistance. Latvia will continue to give help to Ukraine and share its expertise in carrying out reforms, as well as in dealing with the consequences of the aggression supported by Russia. Latvia is currently providing medical and psychological assistance to Ukrainian soldiers and civilians affected by the conflict,” Edgars Rinkēvičs underlined.
The Minister confirmed Latvia’s support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, while condemning Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, the illegal annexation of Crimea, and Russia’s aggressive policy in the Sea of Azov. The Minister also condemned the decision by Russia to facilitate the issue of passports to Ukrainian citizens.
Minister Rinkēvičs informed Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze about the Parliament of Latvia having endorsed the resolution of the Ukrainian Parliament and recognizing the deportations of Crimean Tatars carried out by the Soviet authorities as genocide. This step by the Latvian Parliament is of special importance given the deteriorating human rights situation in Crimea.
“We condemn the decision by Russia to facilitate procedures for issuing Russian passports to the residents of the Donetsk and Luhansk living in the territories outside the control of the Ukrainian government. On a number of occasions, we have called on Russia to release the detained Ukrainian servicemen and the seized ships. Latvia has also called for the release of the Ukrainian political prisoners held in Russia. Latvia consistently stands up for a firm and united policy of the West on the matter of sanctions and dialogue with Russia,” Edgars Rinkēvičs underlined.
The Foreign Minister also expressed support from Latvia for the Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine, and he welcomed the establishment of excellent instruments for Ukraine’s cooperation with the EU and NATO in order to bring the country closer to both the organisations.
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