RIGA - Latvia's security is also the United States' security, US Ambassador to Latvia John Leslie Carwile said during a meeting with Saeima Speaker Edvards Smiltens (United List) on Tuesday.
Carwile noted that Latvia and the US are close friends united by common democratic values. The ambassador also reassured Smiltens about the US' understanding of the security situation in the region, LETA was told at the Saeima press office.
"We need to strengthen our defense capabilities and be prepared for everything, because NATO - it's us," Smiltens told the ambassador who was paying him a farewell visit.
While discussing Russia's war in Ukraine, Smiltens indicated that "as a result of Putin's criminal war, the wider international community has given up any doubts and is taking a firm stand for the protection of common values and way of life".
The conversation between the Saeima chairman and the US ambassador also dealt with the creation of Latvia's national defense service, as well as Latvia's plan to increase defense spending. On behalf of Latvia's people and parliament, Smiltens thanked the ambassador for his personal contribution in strengthening bilateral relations.
On Tuesday, Smiltens met also with Greek Ambassador to Latvia Efthymios Efthymiades. "Latvia and Greece have very good mutual relations. We are close allies in the European Union and NATO," Smiltens said, adding that both countries are facing similar challenges. At this point, it is especially important to be united to help Ukraine and stop Russia as effectively as possible," Smiltens said.
While discussing prospects for stepping up economic cooperation between the two countries, Smiltens underscored the role of new technologies, including bio-technologies. "We need to find new cooperation opportunities in order to maintain the life standards of our people and strengthen defense," the Saeima chairman said. The ambassador agreed, particularly stressing the necessity to cooperate on energy security.