RIGA - Latvia's decision to leave the cooperation framework of Central and Eastern European Countries and China will not change anything much, said Riga Stradins University expert Una Aleksandra Berzina-Cerenkova.
As reported, in view of the current priorities of Latvian foreign and trade policy, Latvia has decided to cease its participation in the cooperation framework of Central and Eastern European Countries and China, LETA learned from the Latvian Foreign Ministry.
Latvia will continue to strive for constructive and pragmatic relations with China both bilaterally, as well as through EU-China cooperation based on mutual benefit, respect for international law, human rights and the international rules-based order.
Berzina-Cerenkova said that this cooperation format had "died out" even before Lithuania decided to cease its participation in it.
The expert said that this is not an unexpected decision, but a logical outcome, considering Latvia's signals about losing interest in this format.
Latvia had joined the cooperation due to pragmatic reasons, expecting economic benefits, but the format had not been successful from the very start, even before Europe started considering China as a risk.
After 2018, China was mentioned in US and European security service reports as an active player, collecting information and trying to increase its impact more and more often.
The Estonian Foreign Ministry also announced that it is leaving the cooperation framework with China. Lithuania left the network in the spring of 2021.