RIGA - Latvian Foreign Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) at the annual ministerial meeting of Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries in Brussels underlined Latvia's interest in deepening cooperation with the EaP countries, LETA was told at the Foreign Ministry.
At the meeting, foreign ministers from European Union (EU) member states and EaP countries confirmed their willingness to develop an adapted long-term strategy for the EaP policy. The ministers also received updates on cooperation in the EaP context, with the emphasis on a regional agreement signed on the abolition of roaming charges between the EaP countries.
In an informal meeting with the Belarusian opposition leader, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Karins expressed Latvia's strong support for the democratic opposition of Belarus and its efforts towards a free and democratic Belarus. The foreign minister also underlined that Latvia condemned the Lukashenko regime’s brutal repression of its people, support for the Russian aggression against Ukraine, and involvement in the displacement to Belarus of children from Ukraine deported illegally by Russia.
In Brussels, Karins also had bilateral meetings with his Ukrainian, Moldovan and Armenian colleagues.
The meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba addressed the process Ukraine’s EU integration. Karins evaluated the reforms undertaken by Ukraine and reaffirmed Latvia’s support for launching EU accession negotiations with Ukraine. The Latvian minister confirmed Latvia’s continued support to Ukraine along all lines of action, emphasizing political and military support and assistance with reconstruction.
Karins met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Moldova, Nicu Popescu, to sign the Latvia-Moldova Social Security Treaty, which will ensure social protection to the citizens of both countries living in the other country. Karins welcomed Moldova’s reform progress and confirmed Latvia’s support for the opening of EU accession talks with Moldova.
At the meetings with Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, cooperation between the EU and Armenia and the course of the peace process were discussed. Karins noted the joint statement recently issued by Armenia and Azerbaijan expressing their commitment to normalizing mutual relations, and emphasized that it was a major step in trust-building.