RIGA - The international community must step up pressure and keep calling to account Russia which currently is the greatest immediate threat to Europe and its security, as well as continue its civilian, military and financial support to Ukraine, Latvian Prime Minister Evika Silina (New Unity) said at a meeting of the European Political Community (EPC) leaders in Granada, Spain.
According to the Silina's press secretary, the prime minister is attending the EPC leaders' meeting today and tomorrow, as well as an informal European Council - a meeting of the European Union's (EU) Heads of State or Government.
During the meeting, the prime minister raised issues related to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine launched by Russia. "We must continue to support Ukraine and put pressure on Russia. Despite its military setbacks, Russia remains the biggest direct threat to Europe," Silina said.
On Thursday, Silina also held bilateral meetings with European Council President Charles Michel and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola. During these bilateral meetings, the Latvian prime minister confirmed that the course of the Latvian government remains unchanged and that it supports a strong and united European Union (EU).
Silina underlined the need to continue supporting Ukraine financially and militarily. The prime minister expressed her hope that EU leaders will take a decision on opening EU accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova. The officials also discussed the growing challenges of migration in the EU. Silina stressed the need for a decisive response to the hybrid attack on the EU's eastern borders by the regime of Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko.
In a meeting with the leader of the Belarusian democratic movement, Svyatlana Tsyhanouska, the prime minister assured her that Latvia would continue to support the Belarusian people's desire to live in a free and democratic country as opposed to the Lukashenko regime.
Silina also met with Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Store. During the meeting, Silina expressed her gratitude for Norway's important contribution to regional security through its participation in NATO's multinational battle group in Lithuania. The officials also discussed further defense, energy and economic cooperation.
In her meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar the Latvian prime minister praised excellent cooperation between the two countries, expressing the view that the European Union should continue and increase its support to Ukraine and hold Russia accountable for its criminal war.
The EPC meeting included a plenary session, roundtables and bilateral meetings. In all, 47 Heads of State or Government from the 27 EU Member States and 20 non-EU countries were invited to the EPC meeting. At the EPC meeting, leaders' discussions focused on Russia's war against Ukraine and its global implications. Leaders also discussed how to promote support for Ukraine, strengthen Europe's security, resilience, prosperity and energy cooperation.