During a working visit to Washington on June 15-16, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics discussed preparations for the NATO Madrid summit, strengthening the Alliance’s eastern flank and further support for Ukraine.
The press service of the Latvian Foreign Ministry told an Ukrinform correspondent about this.
At a meeting at the US State Department with Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, Rinkevics praised the uncompromising position of the United States regarding the war that Russia is waging against Ukraine. He stated that Russian isolation and sanctions pressure should continue while providing political, financial and military support to Ukraine. The officials stressed that it is very important to coordinate these processes with like-minded people.
At the same time, Rinkevics stressed that “peaceful solutions” at the expense of Ukraine are unacceptable. The decision to end hostilities should be based on Ukraine’s national interests and its legitimate rights to determine when and under what conditions the conflict should end.
Officials from Latvia and the United States discussed a solution to the problem of Ukrainian grain exports. The head of the Foreign Ministry of the Baltic country noted that the resumption of exports of Ukrainian agricultural products should be based on the interests and capabilities of Ukraine.
Rinkevics stressed in the conversation that the leadership of the United States in ensuring the security of Europe is indispensable. Latvia appreciates the ongoing support and close cooperation. When discussing the current security situation, the Latvian Minister stressed that NATO must adapt to the changing security environment, especially in the Baltic States. Russia’s war in Ukraine has changed reality in the region for the long term. NATO is at the forefront of security in line with the interests and needs of the Alliance. “Russia’s war against Ukraine proved that the current security solutions in the Baltic States are not enough, a transition is needed to further strengthen defense,” Rinkevics stressed.
Latvia expects the NATO summit in Madrid at the end of June to take decisions to strengthen the Alliance’s eastern flank so that its military representatives can work with these guidelines to adjust NATO’s defense and deterrence capabilities.
According to Rinkevics, at the summit in Madrid, the member countries should agree on strengthening NATO’s forward presence in the Baltic countries, which is objectively necessary given the current state of security in the region.
With regard to the Three Seas Initiative (TMI), the Latvian Foreign Minister commended the US support for the objectives of the initiative in the current geopolitical situation. “We believe that in the context of the ITM it is vital to strengthen the synergy between various financial instruments that will contribute to the development of the region’s infrastructure,” said Rinkevics, adding that the potential of the ITM should also be used to support Ukraine.
As part of his visit to Washington, the Minister of Foreign Affairs held meetings at the US National Security Council. He spoke about security challenges in the region and recent developments with William Keating, head of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Foreign Affairs in Europe, and experts from the Heritage Foundation think tank.
On February 24, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The European Union, the United States and other countries applied sanctions against the aggressor country.