RIGA - From the current point of view, the Rail Baltica high speed rail project is no longer just a convenient passenger connection to Western Europe - it is gaining more and more strategic importance as an artery for the transportation of military cargo, should such a need arise, Saeima Speaker Edvards Smiltens (United List) said during a visit to Warsaw on Tuesday.
The speaker of the Latvian parliament emphasized the need for the Baltic States and Poland to jointly develop strategically important infrastructure projects.
Continuing the official visit to Poland, the delegation led by the Speaker of the Saeima met on Tuesday with the Marshal of the Polish Senate, Tomasz Grodzki, as well as with the Chairman of the Cooperation Group of the Polish and Latvian Parliaments, Robert Telus.
According to Smiltens, this is "a time of tectonic changes, when the Soviet empire collapses completely". "Together, we must use the opportunities provided by this era to open a new page in the history of our region and come out of this crisis stronger together," the politician told his Polish colleagues.
The Speaker of the Saeima emphasized that Polish soldiers, together with soldiers from Latvia and other NATO countries, ensure the security of the Baltic region and Latvia as part of the NATO battle group. Smiltens also thanked Poland for participating in patrolling Baltic airspace, stressing that Latvian society highly values this Polish contribution.
The participants of the conversation agreed that today the countries of the region are closely connected with each other, and the security of Poland is unthinkable without a free Ukraine and the Baltic states, and vice versa. One of the most important tasks at the moment is to achieve full independence from Russian energy resources and to ensure stable gas and electricity network connections with Western countries.
The parties expressed satisfaction with the significant volume of mutual trade, which exceeded 2.6 billion euros this year. However, the potential for cooperation is by no means exhausted. Latvia is a safe place for Polish investments, Smiltens said, noting that they see new opportunities for cooperation in many sectors, including renewable energy, digital technologies, research and innovation.