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Baltic and German Foreign Ministers meet in Tallinn

On 20 July 2020, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, took part in the annual meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Baltic States and Germany in a “3+1” format, along with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Urmas Reinsalu; the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Linas Linkevičius; and the German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Heiko Maas.

At the meeting in Talinn, the Ministers were discussing topics on the agendas of the European Union and NATO, the Eastern Partnership policy, latest developments in relations with China and Russia, dialogue with Turkey, and the state of affairs in Syria and Libya. Their joint press conference can be viewed above.

The previous 3+1 meeting of Baltic and German Ministers of Foreign Affairs was via a videoconference that took place on 17 March, whereas on 21 May 2019, the Ministers met in person in Hamburg. The Foreign Ministers have been meeting in this 3+1 format since 1994.

Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs said the German Presidency of the European Union would be an important six months which might give "impetus" to concluding a Brexit agreement with former EU member state the United Kingdom.

In addition the European Union needs to sort out its response to COVID-19 at ongoing talks.

"We need to have ambitious decisions taken in Brussels," Rinkēvičs said of a potential recovery fund.

He also criticised recent Russian attempts to rewrite history and the occupation of the Baltic states, characterising them as "bullying" which was unlikely to improve bilateral relations.

On security and the planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Geremany, Rinkēvičs said: "If there would be more Amercan troops in Europe that would benefit Europe," and that in the case that troop numbers in ermany did decline, having "more troops deployed to the east of Germany" would be a good thing.




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