RIGA - On April 8, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) took part in a video conference of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Baltic and Nordic countries (NB8), in which opinions were shared on the current situation and preventative measures to be taken in coping with COVID-19 as well as regional cooperation in an exit strategy for the crisis, LETA learned from the ministry.
The Ministers praised the ongoing cooperation between the consular services of the NB8 countries in organizing repatriation flights and in ensuring opportunities for transit of people who return to their home countries. With the repatriation issues still high on the agenda, the Ministers pledged to continue working together closely also in the future.
The Ministers noted that a gradual exit of the region’s countries from the crisis caused by COVID-19 calls for solutions as uniform and coherent as possible. Foreign Minister Rinkevics underlined that it is vital for the region’s countries to share updated information about the reduction of restrictions on a regular basis so that exit from the crisis takes place gradually and in a coherent manner.
The NB8 Foreign Ministers said that it is of primary importance at this point to address issues related to economic cooperation – for example, keeping borders open for the movement of goods and services, as well as cooperating in joint public procurement projects of medical supplies. It was noted that the matter of cross-border movement of passengers and people in transit is increasing in importance and should be jointly addressed in the near future.
The NB8 format includes Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden. In 2020, Estonia has the lead role in coordination of NB8 cooperation.