Vike-Freiberga meets Blair

  • 2006-07-11
  • By TBT staff
Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga's talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair in London marked a significant turning point in bilateral relations, the head of the Latvian President's Office, Andrejs Pildegovics told BNS.

Pildegovics said Blair had said this was a special year in British-Latvian relations, considering the recent visit by Queen Elizabeth II to Latvia and the planned NATO summit in Riga this fall.

"This is the year when we will mark the 15th anniversary of our relations and Blair's participation in the NATO summit is yet another sign that the United Kingdom pays great attention to the Baltic states," Pildegovics said.

Vike-Freiberga, in her meeting with Blair, discussed her country's development since it had joined the EU two years ago. Though Latvian-UK trade was growing, she would like to see even more investment in the production and services sector.

Blair said the NATO summit was a very important meeting and should help the EU and North America form a capable organization well-suited to dealing with the issues of the 21st century.

The two leaders also discussed the upcoming G8 summit in St. Petersburg. Vike-Freiberga, in reference to the perennial issues of Russian gas concerns, said Europe should consider alternative energy resources and transportation routes, as well as nuclear energy.

Latvia was interested in seeing dialogue between the EU and Russia, but "we would like this dialogue to be based on true partnership and mutual respect without interference into internal affairs."