Latvia lays out its 'Nordic-Baltic 8' program

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February 7 saw the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia hosting a meeting to launch the year when Latvia will be coordinating cooperation in the format of the Nordic-Baltic Eight (NB8).

The event brought together directors for regional operation and its coordinators from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the NB8 countries.

In January, Latvia took over the coordination of cooperation between the Baltic States and Nordic countries.

"Because of Russia’s hostilities in Ukraine, the cooperation between those countries, based on shared values and political and economic interests, has become even more important, with the war having shaken the foundations of the European security architecture and making a direct impact on security in the region," said the Ministry.

The meeting was chaired by the Director of the European Department, Iveta Staņislavska, who introduced her colleagues to the priorities set by Latvia for cooperation in the NB8 format this year. Work coordinated by Latvia will focus on the strengthening of the region’s overall security in response to the war waged by Russia against Ukraine. The joint activities planned are to promote regional cooperation in the matters such as the rules-based international order and the strengthening of military security and deterrence capabilities, as well as the overall resilience.

Other topics discussed during the meeting were the potential for closer regional cooperation, energy security, and support for Ukraine. The director of a non-governmental organisation MARTA Centre, Iluta Lāce, joined the discussions as a guest, sharing her experience of providing assistance to Ukrainian women, victims of war crimes.

The format of the Nordic-Baltic Eight comprises Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden.

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