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Baltic Prime Ministers agree in Riga on joint efforts towards greater regional security

Date

2022 04 22

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On 22 April 22, Prime Ministers of the Baltic Council of Ministers Ingrida Šimonytė, Krišjānis Kariņš and Kaja Kallas met in Riga to discuss joint efforts to strengthen security in the region and provide support to Ukraine, also focusing on energy security, joint energy projects, preparation for the next winter season, and sanctions on Russia. The Prime Ministers also signed a joint statement.

Condemning Russia’s aggression and the ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, the Prime Ministers of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia called on international partners to increase support for Ukraine, particularly with heavy weapons. This is especially important for the victory of Ukraine and for peace in Europe, stressed the Prime Ministers.

The Prime Minister of Lithuania noted the importance of concerted international efforts to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

According to Prime Minister Šimonytė, the pressure on the Kremlin must continue, along with scaled up sanctions.

‘The next package of sanctions should include an oil and gas embargo, the disconnection of the rest of Russian and Belarusian banks from the SWIFT, and putting those responsible for Russian propaganda on the list of sanctions’, said Ingrida Šimonytė.

The Lithuanian Prime Minister emphasized the importance of granting Ukraine the status of a EU candidate.

‘Russia’s appalling aggression and de facto loss of Belarus’ independence have fundamentally changed the security situation in the region. This change must reflect in NATO’s relevant decisions’, said the Prime Minister.

NATO must be fully prepared to defend the Baltic States, therefore appropriate decisions must be made regarding an effective forward defence, integrated air defence and early capability building in the Baltic States, emphasized the Lithuanian Prime Minister.

The Baltic Prime Ministers agreed to work closely following the refusal of Russian oil and gas, and to ensure regional coordination and the required natural gas reserves for the next winter season using the available infrastructure in the region.

The Prime Ministers also discussed the regional gas market, the need to step up the synchronization of the power grids, and other issues related to increased energy security.

The Prime Ministers noted the need to continue coordination of actions and to act in unison and solidarity.