Finnish PM Petteri Orpo visiting Latvia

On Friday, May 24, Latvian Prime Minister Evika Siliņa is playing host all day to her Finnish counterpart, Prime Minister Petteri Orpo, who is in Latvia on a working visit.

The heads of government of the two countries are set to have brief talks in Rīga in the morning, followed by a press conference at 10:00.

At the press conference, Latvian PM Siliņa emphasized Latvian and Finnish "steadfast union" against Russia and economic cooperation in the current geopolitical circumstances. "We are focused on fighting Russia's hybrid warfare through instrumentalization of migration and propaganda, which aims to destabilize the situation in Latvia, Finland, and Europe as a whole."

Finnish PM Orpo added: "We are monitoring closely what is happening at the Estonian border near the Narva River and Estonia has our full solidarity," referring to the recent news that Russia's border guard had removed buoys marking shipping lanes from the river.

Siliņa and Orpo will be heading north to Valmiera on Friday afternoon to jointly open the Defence Partnership Latvia factory of the Patria group in Valmiera, where the production of armored military vehicles has started as part of a joint Latvian-Finnish project.

"Both of our countries protect the external border of EU, NATO, and the Schengen area, so it is important for us to continue strengthening our defense industry," said Siliņa at the press conference.

"The opening of Finnish Patria assembly line in Latvia is a welcome development in our region's capability to produce military equipment," said Petteri Orpo.

The pair will also call in on Valmiera library to open an exhibition about the significant contributions made by Finnish volunteers during the Latvian and Estonian wars of independence when the 'Brothers of the North' fought several important battles.


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