Countries must overcome pandemic by acting with solidarity and in line with international norms - Rinkevics

  • 2021-02-09
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The Covid-19 pandemic is a global challenge that can be overcome if countries act with solidarity and in a framework which is transparent and in line with international norms, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) said at the 9th Summit between China and the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC), which took place via video link.

LETA was told at the Foreign Ministry that the event was hosted by China and chaired by the President of China, Xi Jinping. The theme of the summit was strengthening practical cooperation in order to address challenges we face today. Representatives of the countries discussed cooperation in the fight against Covid-19 and renewal of economic cooperation in the wake of the pandemic.

Rinkevics indicated at the meeting that for Latvia, as an EU member, it is essential to develop economic cooperation with China while upholding principles of fair competition, reciprocity, and human rights.

Representatives of the Foreign Ministry noted that within the CEEC-China cooperation format, Latvia expects to see trade and investment relations with China developing in a balanced manner and based on the principles of market economy. Latvia is interested in achieving sustainable solutions in transport and logistics linking Europe and Asia so that a steady flow of goods and services is ensured. 

Rinkevics emphasized that during the time of a pandemic, it is quite important to maintain the cultural contacts already established while using innovative and digital means to further those contacts.

The format for meetings between Central and Eastern European countries and China is meant to activate cooperation between China and 12 EU Member States (Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Greece), and five countries in the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia) in various fields including investment, transport, finance, science, education, and culture. The last CEEC-China summit took place in April 2019 in Dubrovnik, Croatia.