Ligi in Latvia: Standstill in Russia-Ukraine conflict no reason to drop sanctions
Foreign Minister Jürgen Ligi (Reform) met with Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis as well as his counterpart Edgars Rinkēvičs and Speaker of the Saeima Ināra Mūrniece in Riga on Wednesday. The meetings focused on European Union issues, and security in the Baltic Sea area.
Ligi emphasized that Estonia and Latvia were very close and had the same positions in international affairs and security. They were cooperating intensely in all these matters.
Topics of Ligi’s meetings with Latvian officials covered the upcoming Estonian EU presidency in the second half of 2017, and Latvia’s experience of its own presidency in 2015.
“Latvia has experience that we don’t. We are grateful to our Latvian colleagues for sharing it with us. The priorities of the Estonian presidency are security and digital issues. We will also focus on EU neighborhood policy, especially the Eastern Partnership,” Ligi said.
Other topics discussed at the meetings included the future of the European Union, and the situation after the Brexit referendum. Also talked about was the state of affairs of the Rail Baltic project, where Ligi reaffirmed Estonia’s commitment, describing it as strategically important for the Baltic countries in that it united them with the rest of Europe.
On the subject of security and defense cooperation, Ligi said he was satisfied with how the decisions made at the NATO summit in Warsaw were being followed. Ligi also stressed that the EU’s united policy toward Russia needed to continue. “A standstill solving the Russia-Ukraine conflict cannot be a reason for changing this course,” Ligi said.
The officials also discussed the situation in Syria, the election of the new UN secretary general, EU-Turkey relations, the migration crisis, and matters related to the EU multiannual financial framework.