RIGA - What Ukraine needs most right now is the delivery of more weapons, especially heavy weapons, Saeima Speaker Inara Murniece (National Alliance) said during a joint press conference with the president of the Spanish Congress of Deputies Meritxell Batet in Riga today.
Murniece mentioned that she had recently returned from a conference in Switzerland dedicated to the reconstruction of Ukraine, where she had the opportunity to meet with the Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament, Ruslan Stefanchuk. He stated that Ukraine currently needs not only the solidarity of countries in the reconstruction of Ukraine, but also the supply of weapons, which is currently the most important form of support for the country.
Furthermore, Murniece expressed that it is not only necessary to continue the already introduced sanctions, but also to think about new sanctions against Russia and about its further isolation from the international space while it continues its war in Ukraine. It is also necessary to promote the unity of the democratic world in order to provide a strong response to Russia's brutal aggression.
The visit of the Spanish delegation began with viewing an exhibition of Ukrainian photojournalist Maks Levin, who died in the war, in the Saeima. A photo exhibition of his works is also in the Spanish Parliament.
The Speaker of the Saeima mentioned that it is particularly important that NATO has started to speak openly, clearly saying that Russia is an aggressor, and in her view, this is also reflected in the change in NATO's strategic concept. Murniece highlighted the deployment of brigade-level forces in Latvia as a major benefit of the recently held NATO Summit in Madrid. It is very important that NATO is strengthened and that the strengthening of the eastern flank is also thought of, the politician noted.
As Murniece pointed out, there are currently approximately 500 Spanish soldiers deployed at the Adazi military base, which is the second largest military contingent within the NATO battle group in Latvia. The politician expressed gratitude for Spain's contribution to patrolling Baltic airspace within the NATO mission. "But the biggest thank you today is for sending the air defense system to Latvia," emphasized Murniece. She also thanked the Spanish delegation for the "high-level visit".
The speaker of the Spanish parliament thanked Murniece for her warm reception and kind welcome, mentioning that the delegation felt at home. This visit marks the beginning of a new relationship between Latvia and Spain, which was basically created by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the politician noted.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia has visited Spain, and the Prime Minister of Spain has also visited Latvia twice, said Batet, mentioning that the cooperation between the countries is becoming closer. She also believes that it is very important that both Spain and Latvia are members of both the European Union (EU) and NATO, referring to both organizations as anchor points and as the most important organizations that can oppose Putin's aggression in Ukraine.
"Although Spain and Latvia are quite far from each other, we still feel very close emotionally, because the war in Ukraine has also made Spain a country that actually borders the war zone, being a member of NATO," said Batet. Spain feels the horrors of war and crimes as strongly as the people of Latvia, the politician said. During the meeting, the leaders of the national parliaments have come to the conclusion that the two countries have a lot in common - common values that must be jointly protected, noted the president of the Spanish Congress of Deputies.
Unity is the most important element that will allow us to face Putin's aggression, Batet emphasized. The mutual relations between countries should be expanded even more, both in terms of defense, in terms of refugees, and in terms of the rule of law, prosperity and peace. "Everyone must work together so that we finally end this aggression and so that Europe can once again be based on the values that are its foundation - democracy, prosperity, peace and trust," the Spanish politician noted.
As reported, Batet is on an official visit to Latvia until July 9.