RIGA - Speaking about the security situation in the Arctic, we hope that it will not become another area of contention between global powers, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said today during a joint press conference in Riga with the Foreign Minister of Iceland Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson.
During the meeting, the ministers also discussed economic cooperation, as well as cooperation within the framework of the Council of the Baltic Sea States and the Northern Dimension. "From that point of view, we discussed many practical issues. We also agreed to continue to work closely to promote cooperation between the European Union and Iceland," said Rinkevics, pointing out that these issues would be discussed in more detail on the expert level.
Rinkeviss also thanked Iceland for its contribution to the strengthening of Baltic security. "Building on the unity demonstrated at the London Summit, the Alliance's collective defense needs to be further strengthened. We support efforts to strengthen NATO's political dimension," the foreign minister emphasized.
The politician noted that security, connectivity, including digitization and the climate, were key aspects of regional cooperation, as well as cooperation with the United Kingdom after Brexit. "Therefore, in the context of Brexit, the future cooperation between the Baltic and Nordic countries or NB8 and the United Kingdom is very important, including regular meetings of the Nordic Future Forum and regional Baltic Sea formats such as the Northern Dimension , especially on current environmental and climate issues, "said Rinkevics.
The Latvian foreign minister also thanked the foreign minister of Iceland for his official visit to Latvia, which shows the good relations between the two countries. "Iceland is particularly distinguished and respected in Latvia. Thirty years ago, Iceland was the first country to recognize the restoration of independence of Latvia and the other Baltic States. I told Thordarson that we would be delighted if a high-level Icelandic delegation attended the events marking 30 years since the proclamation of the Declaration of the Restoration of Independence of Latvia,'' said Rinkevics.
The ministers also discussed the need to develop a strong political will for economic and cultural cooperation. Rinkevics also drew attention to the Baltic and Nordic region being one of Europe's fastest growing and competitive regions, which must be geared to become a leader in digital cooperation, introduction of 5G technologies and innovations.