Rinkēvičs: Sweden and Finland have an important role to play in ensuring stability in the region

Finland and Sweden are NATO’s closest and most reliable partners, and they play an important role in ensuring stability in the region, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs (JV) emphasized during his visit to Norway.

As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) informed LETA, Rinkēvičs met with Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Wittelt on Tuesday in Kristiansan, Norway. During the meeting, the ministers discussed bilateral co-operation between the two countries in international organizations, support for Ukraine in the war against Russia, as well as current security policy issues.

Rinkēvičs expressed confidence that Latvia and Norway are close partners with a common vision of security and prosperity in the region. Latvia wants to continue active cooperation with Norway at all levels.

“Latvia is grateful for the initiative to provide bilateral European Economic Area / Norwegian grant funds for targeted support to Ukrainian refugees. EUR 150,000 will be allocated to the well-known Latvian charity Ziedot.lv,” the Foreign Minister emphasized in the conversation.

According to the Minister, Latvia also appreciates Norway’s contribution to NATO deterrence and defense measures in the Baltic region, including participation in the NATO Air Patrol Operation in the Baltic States. Rinkēvičs emphasized that the NATO summit in Madrid is expected to decide on the establishment of a permanent defense presence in the Baltic States, as it has become a necessity in the current security situation.

Ministers also discussed NATO enlargement. Rinkēvičs emphasized that, taking into account the geographical location of Finland and Sweden and the excellent co-operation so far, Latvia supports the countries’ membership in NATO.

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During the meeting, Rinkēvičs invited the Norwegian Foreign Ministers to participate in the annual Riga Conference, which will take place on October 21 and October 22 this year.

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