On 11 August 2020 in Riga, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Jacek Czaputowich, to discuss the matters of current importance in bilateral relations, including the European Union agenda and the issues of international and regional security. The Polish Foreign Minister was in Latvia to mark the centenary of the Latvia–Russia Peace Treaty jointly with the Foreign Ministers of Latvia, Estonia and Finland.
Latvia and Poland are close regional partners and strategic partners in the field of security, the Latvian Foreign Minister noted. We remember with gratitude, he said, the heroic support from Poland and its troops in 1919–1920 during the Latvian War of Independence. This month also sees one hundred years since the historic Battle of Warsaw. “The Miracle on the Vistula” halted the spread of the Bolshevik revolution further westwards thus also making it possible for us to strengthen our newly regained independence, Edgars Rinkēvičs said.
During the meeting, the Ministers underlined the need for unity, close cooperation and a Europe based on shared values and solidarity. The parties were unanimous that transatlantic unity is indispensable for European and global security; therefore, it is vital to continue sustaining a political dialogue and practical cooperation with the United States of America.
In view of the increasing tension between Belarusian society and authorities after the presidential elections on 9 August, Edgars Rinkēvičs expressed confidence that a positive development of relations between the EU and Belarus would be possible only through respect for fundamental democratic values and freedoms.
The government and law enforcement authorities of Belarus must respect the civil liberties of Belarusian people and their right to freely express their political views, said the Latvian Foreign Minister. It is not acceptable, Edgars Rinkēvičs asserted, that the activities of independent media and means of communication were being restricted by blocking their access to the internet, and the work of journalists who informed the Belarusian society and the world about the election process was obstructed. The Minister also noted that the EU’s levers of influence should be considered in the context of election violations in Belarus, which does not preclude the targeting of sanctions against certain Belarusian officials.
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