On 10 June 2019, members of the Presidium of the Baltic Assembly met with Edgars Rinkēvičs, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia – the country holding the chairmanship of the Baltic Council of Ministers.
The participants of the meeting discussed the implementation of the Latvian chairmanship priorities and the political-level cooperation among the Baltic States. The Minister of Foreign Affairs underlined the priorities that consolidate the Baltic States cooperation: strengthening of security in the region, including joint defence planning, and the development of energy and transport infrastructure projects, for instance, Rail Baltica and digital connectivity. Edgars Rinkēvičs stated his conviction that Latvia was successfully running its presidency in the regional formats of the Baltic States’ cooperation.
The Foreign Minister commended the close cooperation between Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia at all levels, which has resulted in the adoption of decisions important for the countries in the European Union (EU) and NATO, as well as the implementation of successful regional projects. Edgars Rinkēvičs stressed that “coordinated action by the Baltic States should continue towards the implementation of decisions made at the NATO Brussels summit and ensuring the U.S. presence in the region”.
Referring to large-scale regional infrastructure projects such as building of the Rail Baltica railway line, Edgars Rinkēvičs noted that “Rail Baltica is undeniably the largest and most significant project in the region. Therefore, at this point, our common united position and concerted lobby efforts are more important than ever so that the most favourable conditions possible would be achieved for this project under the European Union’s new financial perspective”.
The Minister made note of the successful cooperation between the Baltic States in the energy sector, including by working jointly on the establishment of a regional natural gas market and on other project of regional importance.
The participants appreciated the cooperation between the Baltic Assembly and the Baltic Council of Ministers and underlined that a successful dialogue and close links had been established between the parliaments and executive authorities of the three countries. The parties also shared views on the outcomes of the Baltic Assembly Conference on the Eastern Partnership held on 31 May.
The Baltic Assembly (BA) is an international organisation for cooperation among the parliaments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. In 2019, Latvia is presiding at the Baltic Assembly. The priorities set by the Latvian presidency of the Baltic Assembly are a comprehensive approach to security and defence, the strengthening of interconnections of the Baltic States to Europe in the field of energy, transport and infrastructure, and developing a region of growth and competitiveness.
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