On 21 June 2019 in Riga, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Tomáš Petřiček, for a discussion on bilateral relations between the two countries, their dialogue in international organisations, security policy, and topics high on the European Union (EU) agenda.
The Latvian Foreign Minister expressed satisfaction with the excellent bilateral relations between Latvia and the Czech Republic. “We are like-minded countries and close partners in the European Union and NATO. Accession to the European Union and NATO is celebrated in Latvia and the Czech Republic this year. We also mark the 30th anniversary of the Baltic Way and the Velvet Revolution,” said Edgars Rinkēvičs at the beginning of the meeting.
The Foreign Minister then drew attention to the regular political dialogue in multilateral regional formats, with the Baltic and Nordic (NB8), and the Visegrad Group (V4) cooperation, or the NB8+V4 format, providing a good opportunity to discuss highly relevant international issues.
Edgars Rinkēvičs thanked the Czech Republic for its participation in the NATO enhanced Forward Presence battle group in Latvia and the Baltic Air Space Policing mission.
Referring to the EU Multiannual Financial Framework for the next period, Edgars Rinkēvičs said he was certain that Latvia and the Czech Republic have similar positions on many MFF-related issues, including the Cohesion Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy. “Our main priorities concerning the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework remain unchanged. We cannot accept the current reduction in our Cohesion Policy funding, and we shall continue to advocate the convergence of direct payments and keeping rural development funding at the present level. One of our priorities is also to ensure financing for the Rail Baltica project. At the same time, new conditionality instruments in the EU multiannual budget must not duplicate the existing instruments. They must not be discriminating, namely, targeted at several Member States only or applicable only to separate programmes and funds,” the Minister underlined.
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