On 30 July 2019, Latvian Foreign Minister, Edgars Rinkēvičs, met with Finnish Foreign Minister, Pekka Haavisto, who was in Riga on a working visit.
A main theme of discussion was the current situation with regard to the tanker “Stena Impero” that was seized by Iranian forces on 19 July and the Latvian member of the tanker crew. Foreign Minister Rinkēvičs said that the liberation of the Latvian citizen is a high priority for Latvia. And, in this context, Minister Rinkēvičs expressed his gratitude to Minister Haavisto and the Finnish mission in Tehran for their timely and active involvement in the case. Assistance rendered by Finland in support of freeing the Latvian citizen is a great reflection of the close and contructive bilateral relations traditionally existing between Latvia and Finland, Minister Rinkēvičs said.
In their discussion, the Ministers emphasized the need for safeguarding freedom of navigation and attention to compliance with international commitments under applicable treaties. Pekka Haavisto confirmed Finland’s readiness to continue to actively seek solutions.
The Ministers spoke as well about the Council of the European Union priorities and the work planned during the Finnish EU Presidency. The Ministers were of one mind that strengthening the rule of law is an important EU priority and that challenges to the rule of law should be addressed through dialogue and on a path of cooperation.
Edgars Rinkēvičs said that he welcomes the priorities set forth by Finland at the Council of the EU. A united and powerful EU is amongst the common interests we share, he said. EU growth and sustainable development, standing up for the rule of law and security, mitigating climate change - these are all also priorities and questions high on the list for Latvia, and on each of the priorities we are also ready to make our contribution, Minister Rinkēvics asserted.
The Ministers also looked at current international relations in a broader sphere, various aspects of cooperation between Latvia and Finland up till now, including with respect to support given regionally via the Eastern Partnership, and the future of that partnership, touching also on relations with Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia.
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