RIGA - In regards to the foreign service, one of the priorities in the next year's budget will be to increase the salary of those working in the diplomatic service, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) admitted to LETA.
The work to be done in the near future is largely related to what has been done so far, namely full support for Ukraine, as well as work in the European Union to strengthen sanctions against Russia and ensure appropriate support for Ukraine.
"And, of course, a range of issues that affect strengthening our own security. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has to prepare for the NATO Vilnius summit, where it will evaluate how the decisions made at the previous summit are implemented. Many things still need to be strengthened in terms of foreign policy," the minister emphasized.
Undoubtedly, another priority in next year's budget will be the salary of those working in the diplomatic service, because inflation has left consequences not only in Latvia, but also in foreign countries.
The declaration of the new government mentions that the government will advocate a strict and broad policy of sanctions against Russia and Belarus. Commenting on the above, Rinkevics pointed out that the ninth package of sanctions is already being discussed.
"In the European Union and in cooperation with the United States and other like-minded countries, quite a lot of structural sanctions have been introduced, but there are still many areas in which we can strengthen these sanctions, such as energy, the financial sector. These are issues that are constantly on the agenda," he emphasized.
Commenting on the commitment expressed in the government's declaration to expand the network of Latvian embassies abroad, Rinkevics stated that it is now necessary to solve the urgent problems with salaries and ensure the work of the existing embassies, but the expansion of the network of embassies in 2023 is not being planned at the moment.
At the same time, it is clear that due to external economic interests and the plan for Latvia to run for the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member state, as well as diaspora and consular services, it is necessary to establish at least one embassy in Latin America.
"If we want to think about opening new markets in the information technology, food and pharmaceutical sector, then we must also think about at least one more embassy in Africa as well," the minister emphasized.
Rinkevics also revealed that the composition of his office will basically remain the same and that advisors will not be changed in the near future.
In the declaration of the new Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) government regarding foreign affairs, politicians have committed to strengthening NATO's position as a guarantor of European security and close transatlantic relations with the United States and Canada.
It is also planned to provide political, military, financial, humanitarian and economic support to Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression, by continuing to supply Ukraine with armaments and equipment and by training the soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, as well as calling on partners and the international community to do so as well.
The new government has committed to stand for a policy of strict and broad sanctions against Russia and Belarus, as well as Russia's isolation in international organizations until it completely ends its aggression against Ukraine and begins to respect the principles of international law and international obligations.
Politicians have pledged to support the expansion of the European Union, thereby strengthening Latvia's long-term national interests and strengthening democracy, security, stability and the rule of law in Europe.
The government is also committed to implementing a unified, dynamic and targeted diaspora policy, which is based on a coordinated cross-sectoral approach.