RIGA - We cannot allow Russia, an autocracy steeped in 19th century thinking, affect modern-day Europe, Latvian President Egils Levits said during a meeting with President of the Swiss Confederation Ignazio Cassis.
Elina Kresa, a representative of the Latvian president's press office, told LETA that the meeting between the Latvian and Swiss presidents focused on Europe's security policy, the two countries' bilateral relations and support for Ukraine.
While discussing the aftermath of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the presidents underlined democratic countries' efforts to fortify Europe's security architecture. The Latvian president noted the necessity to agree on a proper response to Russia's aggression, with the emphasis on solidarity and democratic values. Levits also thanked Switzerland for solidarity with the European Union's (EU) sanctions against Russia.
The two presidents exchanged information on support provided to Ukraine since the start of the war and Ukraine's war refugees arriving in Latvia and Switzerland. Levits said that as a NATO member, Latvia supports Ukraine, adding that Latvia has provided both military and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. With around the same number of Ukraine's civilians arriving in Latvia and Switzerland, people have been showing enormous solidarity with the Ukrainian people and helping as much as they can.
The Latvian president also praised the great relations between Latvia and Switzerland and Cassis' contribution to shaping these relations. Levits said that Latvia and Switzerland are likeminded countries and although Switzerland is a neutral country and Latvia a member of the EU and NATO, they share a similar understanding of values.