RIGA - Yesterday in Brussels, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics met with the Foreign Ministers of the Baltic States and the Benelux countries for a discussion on developments in Ukraine, and to consider any possible further measures in response to Russia’s aggression, LETA was informed by the Foreign Ministry.
During the meeting, Rinkevics stated that a close coordination was needed with allies in the European Union to both provide support for Ukraine and sustain a strong policy of sanctions and international isolation vis à vis Russia and Belarus. The Minister expressed support for further restrictive measures in relation to Russia’s main sources of revenue, including oil and coal, and denying Russian ships access to EU ports.
If Russia is not stopped in Ukraine, it will continue its aggression in Europe, Rinkevics underlined. Therefore, Russia must be stopped in Ukraine so as to prevent the aggressor in the long term from renewing its capabilities and refueling its desire to wage war. All kinds of support for Ukraine must also be continued and reinforced. Our interests do not lie in any kind of frozen warfare; instead, they rest in Ukraine’s victory. An agreement on the cessation of hostilities can only be achieved in direct talks between Ukraine and Russia. The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiyy has a strong mandate from the people and a full understanding of the situation in Ukraine; therefore, the Western allies should respect that by supporting Ukraine’s decisions on the negotiation process and conditions, the Latvian Foreign Minister said.
The Latvian Foreign Minister also underlined that the solidarity of the Western and international community with Ukraine as well as all kinds of assistance and support from the EU were strengthening Ukraine’s defenses.
Rinkevics emphasized the need for permanently stationing NATO forces in the Baltic States in view of the situation in the region.
Taking part in the discussion were the Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn; the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, Sophie Wilmes; the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Wopke Hoekstra; the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Eva-Maria Liimets; and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Gabrielius Landsbergis.