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Minister of Foreign Affairs Marina Kaljurand discussed bilateral relations and regional safety in Riga.


When meeting in Riga the Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis, Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs, and head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Latvian Parliament Saeima, Ojārs Ēriks Kalniņš, Minister of Foreign Affairs Marina Kaljurand emphasised that Estonia and Latvia are very close partners and friends who are cooperating closely in every area. Foreign Minister Kaljurand thanked Latvia for its strong support in the case of Eston Kohver. Latvia strongly condemned the unlawful judicial process against Eston Kohver and his conviction.

When discussing regional security and defence cooperation, Foreign Minister Kaljurand emphasised the importance of the presence of NATO allies in the Baltic States.   ”The European security situation has changed and we cannot hope for the situation to normalize in the near future. The presence of allies is a strong message about the unity of NATO and strengthens the security of Estonia and Latvia as well as NATO’s collective defence as a whole,” the Foreign Minister stated. ”Latvia’s decision to increase its defence spending to 2% of GNP by the year 2018 is very important in this context,” Foreign Minister Kaljurand added.

Addressing Russian aggression in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Kaljurand emphasised that the violations of ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine becoming more frequent is very disturbing.  “Ceasefire violations by separatists controlled by Russians have become more frequent.  Russia has to start following the agreements reached in Minsk,” Foreign Minister Kaljurand emphasised.

In addition, the importance of cooperation at the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence was also emphasised. “In light of the increasing information war, NATO has to extend its activities and be capable of successfully transmitting its messages and also reacting to communication that is hostile,” Foreign Minister Kaljurand added.

Foreign Minister Kaljurand acknowledged Latvia for successfully presiding over the Council of the European Union and said that this served as a good example for Estonia when preparing for its presidency to be held in the first half of 2018. “Latvia has managed very well in presiding over the Council of the European Union during a time that is complicated in the sense of foreign policy as well as security. In addition, Latvian colleagues have kindly welcomed our people during a hectic time and allowed us to learn very thoroughly from their experience.  We are very grateful for that,” she added.
At the meeting, they also discussed the situation in Greece, relations with Russia, cybersecurity, questions related to migration and common projects in the field of energy and transport.


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