Diplomat Braze nominated for post of foreign minister

  • 2024-04-15
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Diplomat Baiba Braze will be nominated for the post of the foreign minister, Prime Minister Evika Silina (New Unity) told the media on Monday.

Ambassador Braze has held various positions in the foreign service, including ambassador of Latvia to several countries. Before becoming the ambassador of special assignments in the summer of 2023, she served as NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy since May 2020.

Braze holds two Masters degrees from the University of Latvia: one in Law and another in Communication Science. She has also studied at NATO Defense College.

Silina said that Braze is a "fighter and a courageous woman" who has been working in diplomacy since 1993 and has gained extensive international experience. Silina described Braze's joining the government as a "strong signal" that Latvia is very serious about its foreign policy.

The prime minister said she was pleased that New Unity had managed to find someone who was ready to take over the Foreign Ministry at a time when there was no time to to spare, Braze knows the foreign service and, to some extent, knows politics. "I am pleased that from day one we will have a foreign minister who will be able to work fully," said Silina.

In early April, the prime minister told the media that "there will be no non-partisan candidate for the post of foreign minister because there are strong enough candidates within the party". Asked why the candidate was chosen from outside the party, Silina said that New Unity currently has strong people working in the field of foreign affairs, naming Sandra Kalniete (New Unity), who is currently running for the European Parliament (EP) elections, and Zanda Kalnina-Lukasevica, who works in the Saeima and was elected to the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). At the same time, Latvia needs strong people at all levels who can work on foreign policy issues, Silina believes.

"Losing our international role in the PACE Committee would not be the right step. Our task in foreign affairs is to look for allies. We are now a loud voice on Russia and we need strong allies. We need strong people in the parliament, in the European Parliament, in government and in the President's Office who can work on foreign policy issues and also internationally. Adding to the team people who can bring even more to this area with their experience is a great asset for us as a government and for Latvia," said Silina.

Braze was unofficially mentioned as the most likely candidate for this post immediately after the resignation of Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) from the position of the foreign minister.

Other candidates from the New Unity's ranks have also been mentioned - former Parliamentary Secretary of the Foreign Ministry Zanda Kalnina-Lukasevica (New Unity), MP Girts Valdis Kristovskis (New Unity) and others - but there are various reasons why they are not considered realistic candidates for the post of the foreign minister.

The Saeima factions have expressed their willingness to meet the next candidate for the foreign minister. The next foreign minister is also traditionally interviewed by the president.

As reported, the post of the foreign minister became vacant after Karins stepped down, following the private flights scandal.