RIGA - On February 28, the Under-Secretary of State of the Latvian Foreign Ministry, Political Director Janis Mazeiks, made a working visit to Berlin, where he met with the Political Director at the German Federal Foreign Office, Antje Leendertse, for a discussion on the EU’s security and defense matters, transatlantic relations, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and cooperation with the Eastern Partnership countries, LETA learned from the ministry.
While discussing security issues, Mazeiks thanked Germany for its significant contribution to the strengthening of security in the Baltic Sea Region. The Political Director pointed out that Latvia supported an enhanced EU cooperation on security and defense, with NATO remaining the main collective defense organization in Europe. Both sides were unanimous that it was vital to reinforce transatlantic relations.
A special focus was placed on the issue of the future of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Both Political Directors concurred that Russia’s violations of the INF Treaty had undermined the effectiveness of the instrument, and arms control solutions consistent with the current security situation should be considered.
The consultations also addressed the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Mazeiks noted that international community should continue providing assistance to Ukraine, especially the east of the country and the regions affected by the Sea of Azov blockade maintained by Russia. Leendertse pointed out that in the future focus should be given on infrastructure and business development projects.
Cooperation with the Eastern Partnership counties was also discussed. Mazeiks noted that it was important to maintain a tailor-made approach in cooperation with partner countries.
During the consultations, Mazeiks called on Germany to support Latvia’s candidacy for hosting the newly established EU agency – the European Labor Authority.
As part of his visit. Political Director Mazeiks also met with a researcher from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), Dr Franziska Smolnik, for a discussion on the state of affairs in the South Caucasus countries and their relationship with the EU.