On 12 February 2021, Gabrielius Landsbergis, the Foreign Minister of Lithuania, was in Latvia on a working visit. This is his first visit to Latvia since becoming the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
During the visit, the Ministers commemorated the centenary of Latvia’s de jure recognition of the Republic of Lithuania and they examined documents presented at an exhibition highlighting the first years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. On 10 February 1921, the government of Latvia took the decision to recognise the independence of the Republic of Lithuania, declaring their decision on the 16 February in order to coincide with the third anniversary of Lithuania’s independence and to accompany the congratulations for that occasion. Latvia was the first country to recognise Lithuania de jure.
During their meeting, Edgars Rinkēvičs and Gabrelius Landsbergis discussed current issues in bilateral and international relations, and regional cooperation.
Both Ministers underlined how important it is for Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia to continue mutual coordination, and to be speaking with one voice on the situation in Belarus. They emphasised as well the need for a firm European Union reaction concerning the persecution of Alexei Navalny and his associates, and to the violent crackdowns being made by the authorities on peaceful demonstrations.
Min. Rinkēvičs and Min. Landsbergis talked about the current efforts in each of their countries with respect to the problems that have emerged in the wake the COVID-19 pandemic and the priority of ensuring that an effective vaccine is delivered in a timely manner both in Latvia and in Lithuania. The Ministers reviewed the possibilities of the Baltic States in offering support to the EU’s Eastern Partnership countries for the sake of overcoming the COVID-19 crisis. Both Ministers expressed the hope that the epidemiological situation will improve, allowing for the opportunity in the near future to return to the regular active bilateral cooperation agenda.
At the meeting, discussions touched on projects for the development of the key transport and energy infrastructure in the Baltic region. Edgars Rinkēvičs emphasised that, by working together, the strategic goal of synchronization of the electrical networks for Europe and Baltic States by 2025 could be achieved.
They also talked about the development of Latvian and Lithuanian cooperation with the new U.S. administration and through the 17+1 format with China in the future.
Gabrelius Landsbergis has been the Lithuanian Foreign Minister since 11 December 2020. During his working visit to Latvia, he is meeting with Egils Levits, the President of Latvia and Ināra Mūrniece, the Speaker of Parliament.
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