Edvards Smiltēns in Bucharest: Together, we must fortify the eastern stronghold of NATO

(20.03.2023.)
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At the NATO Summit in Madrid, the Allies acknowledged Russia as the most significant and direct threat to the Alliance. Latvia and Romania are among the countries who are most directly affected by this threat. As like-minded countries, we must work together to implement the decisions of the Madrid Summit, strengthening the defence and deterrence capabilities of the eastern flank of NATO, underlined Edvards Smiltēns, Speaker of the Saeima, on Monday, 20 March, at a meeting with Parliament and government officials in Bucharest, capital of Romania.

Today, the delegation led by the Speaker of the Saeima met with Ion-Marcel Ciolacu, President of the Chamber of Deputies; Alina Gorghiu, Acting President of the Senate of Romania; and Nicolae Ciucă, Prime Minister of Romania.

Speaker Smiltēns thanked Romania for its contribution to the region’s security, including the decision to renew Romania’s participation in the Baltic Air Policing mission this year, as well as its involvement in NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup in Poland.

Discussing Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, the Speaker of the Saeima emphasised the necessity to continue supporting Ukraine as much as we can. The far-reaching support for the United Nations resolutions is a testament to the strong international condemnation of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, stated Smiltēns, noting that the next important step would be to ensure international support for holding Russia accountable.

Romania’s decision to establish an embassy in the Latvian capital will also serve as an important driver for cooperation between the two countries. Direct flights between Riga and Bucharest, to be offered by the flag carrier of Latvia already from May, will provide new opportunities for the people and entrepreneurs of both countries. 

Smiltēns also highlighted the untapped potential of economic cooperation between Latvia and Romania. In Latvia’s view, areas such as bioeconomics and biomedicine, pharmaceuticals, smart technology and information and communications technology could offer important cooperation opportunities. 

The Speaker of the Saeima expressed support for Romania’s inclusion in the Schengen Area and its efforts to join the OECD.

The Speaker of the Saeima, together with Rihards Kols, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima, and Andris Sprūds, Chair of the European Affairs Committee of the Saeima, is on a visit to Romania until 21 March. Afterwards, from 21 to 24 March, the Latvian parliamentary delegation is to visit Moldova.

 

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Saeima Press Service

Svētdien, 26.maijā