RIGA - Decisions taken by NATO leaders at the alliance's summit in Vilnius last week are very positive for Latvia, President Edgars Rinkevics told journalists following a meeting with Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) on Friday.
The Latvian president also welcomed Turkey's pledge to ratify Sweden's accession to NATO and the adoption of the alliance's new defense plans. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's commitment to doubling the number of Canadian troops in Latvia and providing financing is no less important, Rinkevics said.
"As regards Ukraine, a number of positive decisions were taken. A NATO-Ukraine Council has been established and Ukraine has been promised even more help. Nobody doubts that one day Ukraine will be a NATO member. Obviously, the question is, when it will happen once the war is over," the Latvian president said.
According to Rinkevičs, the work will only continue. Perhaps, there expectations to see something more in the Ukraine context at the summit, but this is not the last NATO summit - when one is over, preparations for the next one begin.
Karins also pointed out that the decisions of the NATO Vilnius Summit were very positive for Latvia. The decisions taken allow us to be confident that Latvia's security will only be strengthened. With Finland and Sweden's forthcoming accession to NATO, the Baltic Sea will in fact become an internal sea of the alliance, which is also important for boosting Latvia's security.
The prime minister said that the new NATO defense plans adopted at the summit are flexible and can be adapted if the security situation changes, which in Karins' view also strengthens Latvia's security. Canada's commitment to financially support the transformation of the NATO battle group into a combat-capable brigade also strengthens national security.
"I think that very positive steps have been taken on Ukraine. Most importantly, all NATO allies have committed to providing continued support to Ukraine for as long as it takes for Ukraine to win this war. It is clear that the next step after the end of the war will be for Ukraine to join NATO. The security of our region will be strengthened. It becomes evident that the longer the Russians wage their war in Ukraine, the stronger and tighter the NATO' fist is clenching," the prime minister said.