Latvian foreign minister in Washington underlines importance of transatlantic partnership and US leadership

  • 2024-03-26
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Latvian Foreign Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) during his working visit to Washington underlined the importance of transatlantic cooperation and US leadership, LETA was told at the Foreign Ministry. 

This week, Karins together with his counterparts from the Baltic states visited Washington, D.C., where he met with the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken. The ministers underlined in the discussion that the outcomes of the NATO Washington summit in July would reassert the power and unity of NATO, the Allies' further support to Ukraine, and a shared perspective on deterring Russia.

Karins thanked the United States for its unwavering support for the security and protection of the Baltic region, including the contribution of USD 228 million to Latvia's defense capabilities this year.

Recalling the Stalinist deportations of Latvians and other people from the Baltics 75 years ago, the Foreign Minister emphasized the importance of transatlantic cooperation and US leadership worldwide in order to stand up united for democracy and the safeguarding of the rules-based international order. Russia’s aggression must be stopped and strong support to Ukraine must not be delayed, so as to ensure its victory over the aggressor.

The Latvian foreign minister also met with Philip Gordon, the National Security Advisor to the US Vice President. As part of his visit, Karins took part in a public discussion at the Hudson Institute think tank on "Enhancing Northern European Security: Why the US Should Listen to the Baltic States?".

The minister also had meetings with experts from the Heritage Foundation conservative think tank, the Gallup center for public opinion polling, and a US-based international think tank, the Atlantic Council, as well as with leading media at the US National Press Club, and gave an interview to the US National Public Radio.

As reported, the US Congress on Friday passed a government funding legislation, which also includes 228 million US dollars in security aid for the Baltic states.

Created in 2020, the Baltic Security Initiative (BSI) is a measure through which the US Department of Defense supports developing the defense capability and interoperability of the three Baltic states. Last year, 225 million dollars were allocated to the Baltic states within the BSI, and in 2022 the sum was 169 million dollars. The focus of the funding is on developing air defense, maritime situational awareness and land forces. The Estonian share of the funding will be determined by fall this year.