RIGA - It seems that Moscow plans to continue the war in Ukraine, so we must understand that in the long term we will have to help Ukraine as much as possible, and if we stick together, we will also be able to resist Russian imperialism, Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) said at the joint press conference of the Baltic prime ministers in Tallinn on Friday.
"Our strength lies in our unity, and everything must be done so that not only the Baltic states stay together, but also the European Union (EU) and NATO countries," said Karins.
He also emphasized that Ukraine should be helped militarily - so far Latvia has donated more than 1 percent of the country's GDP to Ukraine, at the same time Latvian society continues to support Ukraine both with financial donations and by sending various types of humanitarian aid.
"Russia is waiting for us to tire of supporting Ukraine, so we must continue to support Ukraine. We will achieve peace only when Ukraine defeats imperialist Russia," said Karins, noting that the public must be reminded that we must not relax and that the three Baltic states will show example, investing funds to support Ukraine.
The Prime Minister emphasized at the press conference that he is looking forward to the NATO summit in Vilnius this year - from the security point of view, it is important to achieve that the decisions to strengthen the Baltic states are implemented at the NATO level.
Karins said that next week it is planned to decide on Latvia's national budget for this year, and it is planned to make significant investments to strengthen the military field. At the same time, however, it is also important that NATO allies continue to build up their military.
Energy security is also very important, and "we have moved away from Russian energy resources, natural gas has also not entered the Baltic market since the beginning of January, but we must continue to develop our internal networks and there is still much to be done". According to him, investments are needed in these areas, and ''everything must be done to make these investments as soon as possible, so that we can achieve the independence of the Baltic states from the Russian systems."
Also, the minister emphasized that today's meeting confirmed once again that Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia are ready to work together. "We will continue to do everything throughout this year to strengthen ourselves and thereby also strengthen the community of all NATO countries," emphasized Karins.
Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said at the press conference that support for Ukraine is an important issue for all of us and called on others to increase support for Ukraine, stating that "aid to Ukraine cannot be delayed and fragmented, while our aid to Ukraine must be strong enough, and Russia's war crimes must be punished".
At the same time, Kallas said that the prime ministers of the Baltic states support the creation of an international court to investigate war crimes and punish the crime of Russian aggression against Ukraine.
Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte stated that "pressure on Russia must be continued, and sanctions against Russia and its cooperating countries must also be increased". International support for the establishment of the tribunal must be found, she added.
At the same time, during the meeting, the Prime Ministers expressed disappointment over the International Olympic Committee's decision to allow Russian athletes to compete in the Olympic Games.
The Prime Ministers also discussed the progress of the construction of the Rail Baltica project and current EU agenda issues.