RIGA - The new Latvian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Ivita Burmistre, has set the strengthening of cooperation in the fields of defense and security, economic cooperation, as well as work with the diaspora as her work priorities.
As Burmistre emphasized to LETA, Great Britain is an important ally of Latvia in the field of defense and security, and an important partner in trade and the economy. There are also more than 100,000 Latvian citizens living in the United Kingdom. In the ambassador's opinion, these aspects provide a clear framework for the activities of the Latvian Embassy in the United Kingdom.
The ambassador has set several goals for herself and one of them is to strengthen co-operation between Latvia and Great Britain in defense and security. Burmistre emphasized that the United Kingdom is one of Latvia's most important partners in the field of defense, has made a significant contribution to the development of the Latvian Armed Forces and contributes to the security of the region, both as a leading country in the NATO Enhanced Battlegroup in Estonia and participating in the NATO patrol mission of Baltic skies.
Working with the diaspora and protecting the rights and interests of Latvian citizens is another of the ambassadors' goals. In her opinion, an important task is to continue to actively maintain and strengthen ties with the Latvian diaspora, which includes both regular provision of information in connection with Great Britain's withdrawal from the European Union (EU) and the related transition period, as well as close cooperation with diaspora organizations and activists.
Burmistre stressed the need to strengthen economic cooperation between yhe two countries. The ambassador emphasized that the United Kingdom is a very important market for Latvian exports.
The ambassador also pointed to the strengthening of cooperation with the United Kingdom in the field of media freedom and the fight against misinformation and fake news. Equally important, she said, is to deepen and broaden existing cooperation in education, science and culture.
Speaking about the current challenges in Latvian-British relations, the ambassador pointed to the EU-British negotiations on future relations. The ambassador pointed out that one of Latvia's priorities in these negotiations is to ensure the rights of Latvian citizens, especially in the field of social security.
Burmistre said that it is also in Latvia's interests to ensure comprehensive economic and trade ties between the EU and the United Kingdom in the field of goods and services based on equal competition rules, for high quality cooperation in the field of home affairs and justice, as well as to establish a substantive EU-UK dialogue in foreign relations, security and defense.
The ambassador explained that with the withdrawal of Great Britain from the EU, a very effective framework for maintaining daily contacts with Great Britain, which needs to be compensated, has been lost.
"Bilateral and regional mechanisms will play a much bigger role. Regional formats include NB8 as an important and natural framework for dialogue with the United Kingdom, allowing the United Kingdom to be more closely involved in current issues in the Baltic and Nordic region," said Burmistre.