Edvards Smiltēns to speakers of the Baltic parliaments in Tallinn: Baltic States’ cooperation strengthens regional security

(19.05.2023.)
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“The Baltic States share a similar view of security challenges and our cooperation strengthens regional security,” Edvards Smiltēns, Speaker of the Saeima, highlighted on Friday, 19 May, in the Estonian capital of Tallinn when meeting with Lauri Hussar, Speaker of the Parliament of Estonia, and Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Parliament of Lithuania.

The speakers of parliament of the Baltic States agreed that work has to be done to ensure the implementation of the NATO Madrid Summit decisions regarding reinforcing the defence and deterrence capabilities in the Eastern flank of NATO by expanding allied presence to brigade size. Furthermore, with a view to the NATO Vilnius Summit, the leaders of NATO member states need to agree on a clear vision for Ukraine’s integration into the Alliance.

The Baltic States are united in their support for Ukraine, including in regard to reconstruction efforts and holding the highest Russian officials accountable for the brutal crimes in Ukraine, Speaker Smiltēns emphasised.

During the meeting, not only the support provided by the Baltic States was discussed, but also their experience in welcoming Ukrainians fleeing from the war. The speakers also visited the Freedom School in Tallinn to learn more about how Ukrainian children fleeing the war are welcomed there and what challenges the school faces.

At a conference hosted by the Baltic Assembly focused on the role of the Baltic States in strengthening the Eastern Partnership countries within the new geopolitical situation in Europe the Speaker of the Saeima noted that by supporting Ukraine in the war against Russia, we, Europeans, are united, our support is strong and our resilience unwavering.

We are aware of the high stakes and the existential nature of Russia’s aggression as regards peace, stability and prosperity in Europe, and we have demonstrated that we are willing to defend our interests. However, our next steps internationally must clearly and unequivocally attest to our long-term interests, Speaker Smiltēns said.

Determined and bold political decisions on the Euro-Atlantic course of Ukraine and Moldova will not only have an impact on long-term stability and growth in Ukraine, but the region and Europe as a whole, the Speaker of the Saeima stressed.

Speaker Smiltēns noted that for both Ukraine and Moldova, the Eastern Partnership is an excellent tool, which can provide assistance to those seeking it and willing to enact the necessary reforms in order to join the European area of peace, prosperity and security. The Eastern Partnership manifests our interest to shape a unified, free and peaceful Europe, taking into consideration the efforts and challenges of all countries.

 

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Saeima Press Service

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