The security of the region and the implementation of the decisions just taken at the NATO Vilnius Summit were at the heart of the issues under discussion, and both presidents were very pleased about what had been achieved at the summit. There is also a consensus on the need to extend the support provided to Ukraine and to continue the imposition of sanctions on Russia and Belarus, and that there are still many untapped opportunities in bilateral relations.
In security talks, the two presidents agreed that the presence of the mercenary group Wagner in Belarus was worsening the security situation in the region.
“I would say the regional security situation has deteriorated. I think we should also take seriously the latest information on the transportation and arrival of mercenaries in Belarus, and we must be prepared for all sorts of scenarios. Our assessment is that this mercenary movement does not pose a clear and immediate risk to Latvia's security. However, we cannot exclude hybrid-war scenarios, such as using migration as a weapon to try to infiltrate mercenaries and use them in this hybrid war. All these scenarios have to be taken into account,” said Rinkēvičs.
But on the issue of the pace of electricity grid synchronization, views vary.
“I called on the president to accelerate the synchronization of our electricity networks with continental Europe. The complete abandonment of the Russian and Belarusian electricity networks is a common goal for us. And that is what we need to do as quickly as possible. We have seen many times in recent history that Lithuania, Latvia, and also Estonia - the three Baltic sisters - are much more successful in achieving common geopolitical objectives when they act together,” said Gitanas Nausėda.
Lithuania is also considering the possibility of synchronization being carried out alone, but this will be discussed.
The President of Latvia hopes that there will be a shared solution. In the end, all three countries share the target of leaving the Russian and Belarusian networks.
“However, we must also take into account that this affects all three Baltic States and will affect them in a different way, both technically and financially. We are prepared to accelerate the withdrawal [from BRELL] as soon as possible. But our position would be that we need to find a way that costs less, is more efficient, and less technically problematic for each Baltic country, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania,” said Rinkēvičs.
The President of Latvia promised that the solution would be discussed at ministerial and expert levels, in the hope of finding a way to be happy with the outcome of all three countries.