The United States have an indispensable role in the security of Europe. Today, global security is based on a strong partnership between the U.S. and Europe, stressed Daiga Mieriņa, Speaker of the Saeima, meeting with Mike Johnson, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and other U.S. lawmakers in Washington, D.C. Mieriņa is visiting the U.S. together with Lauri Hussar, Speaker of the Estonian Riigikogu, and Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Lithuanian Seimas. When meeting with the Baltic Speakers, Johnson reaffirmed the U.S. strategic partnership with the Baltic States.
The aim of the joint visit is to strengthen transatlantic cooperation and to outline the Baltic perspective on the global security situation in talks with U.S. parliamentarians. As was stressed by the Speaker of the Saeima, Russia's aggression in Ukraine threatens the entire Europe and undermines the global security system. It is not only the fate of Ukraine that is at stake, and our determination is absolutely clear: we must do everything to ensure Russia's defeat in Ukraine. If we fail to defend Ukraine against Russian aggression, it will only be a matter of time before Russia is ready to seize a new opportunity to challenge us.
The Speakers of the Baltic Parliaments called on the U.S. Congress to approve the aid package for Ukraine as soon as possible.
Every day that passes without important decisions being made means more deaths for Ukraine. And we can help prevent that, urged Mieriņa, highlighting the need to unite allies and like-minded countries against Russian aggression. We must stand united in continuing to isolate Russia as much as possible, its war crimes must be documented internationally and consistently so that it can be held accountable. Russia's pervasive recklessness is based on a sense of impunity, said Speaker Mieriņa.
The Baltic States are well aware of the threat posed by Russia, which is why we are investing heavily in our defence capabilities and encourage other NATO countries to do the same, the Speaker of the Saeima accentuated in talks with U.S. lawmakers. Latvia currently spends 2.4 percent of its GDP on defence, with plans to increase this to three percent by 2027.
At the same time, Latvia has taken the lead of a drone coalition within NATO's Ramstein format to significantly increase the production and delivery of allied drones to Ukraine, taking into account current trends in warfare and the growing importance of drone technology. Mieriņa called on the U.S. to join the drone coalition in support of Ukraine.
The Baltic Speakers held meetings with the U.S. House Appropriations Committee Defense Subcommittee Ranking Member Betty McCollum, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Benjamin Cardin, and Speaker Emerita of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.
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Saeima Press Service