RIGA - In response to public statements by the Chairman of the Daugavpils City Council, Andrejs Elksnins (Harmony), concerning Russia’s aggression against Ukraine which run contrary to the foreign policy positions of Latvia, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) in his official letter has reminded Elksnins about Latvia’s official position on those matters, LETA learned from the ministry.
The Foreign Minister notes that all the Latvian public officials are expected to respect Latvia’s foreign policy position, and he also calls on Elksnins in his capacity of a local government official to strictly adhere to that standpoint, be accurate in his declarations concerning foreign policy matters, and voice the national position in a clear and unambiguous manner.
The Minister underlines in his letter that Latvia condemns in the strongest terms Russia’s illegal and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine. Russia’s actions present a flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter and international law.
Latvia invariably and unambiguously recognizes Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders. Sham referendums staged by Russia in the Ukrainian territories in 2014 and 2022 and their results are illegitimate and do not reflect the will of the Ukrainian people. Latvia strongly condemns, and does not recognize the illegal annexations of those territories. The Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kherson regions, as well as Crimea and the city of Sevastopol are internationally recognized territories of Ukraine.
The Foreign Minister draws attention to the fact that since 2014 such a point of view has been consistently maintained in various statements by the United Nations and the European Union, and in Latvia’s national position. As stated in the Minister’s letter, Latvia firmly believes that Ukraine as any other country has a legitimate right to self-defense. Ukraine has the right to use military force to restore its territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. Rinkevics underlines in particular that the Government, local authorities, the non-governmental sector, businesses, and society in Latvia have been providing all possible support for Ukraine so that it could emerge victorious from the illegal war begun by Russia.
As reported, Elksnins said last week in an interview with Delfi portal that Crimea is a par of the Russian Federation. This and some other statements about the war in Ukraine caused uproar in Latvia and abroad.