Latvian PM Kariņš visits Belarus

Latvan Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš made the short trip across the eastern border to Belarus January 16 for meetings with his Belarusian counterpart Sergei Roumas and long-time President Alexander Lukashenko.

High on the agenda are preparations for Latvia and Belarus' joint hosting of the Ice Hockey World Championship in 2021 (Slogan: "Passion. No borders.")

“Latvia is interested in maintaining good neighbourly relations and closer economic cooperation with Belarus. The Ice Hockey World Championship, organised jointly by Latvia and Belarus in 2021, is a good opportunity to strengthen relations between the countries,” said Kariņš ahead of the visit.

Other items of bilateral cooperation include the areas of environmental protection, transport and logistics, as well as current situation in the region, according to a Latvian government press release.

LTV reported that Kariņš had also extended an invitation to Lukashenko to visit Latvia on April 3.

“Latvia and Belarus are at one in having by a good and diverse neighborly relations. It is important for us that Belarus is an independent, economically strong and stable country,” Kariņš was quoted as saying during his meeting with Belarusian senior officials.

Included in the delegation was another former Latvian Prime Minister: Aigars Kalvītis who is now chairman of the Latvian Ice Hockey Federation as well as being chairman of the Latvijas gaze gas company.

Lukashenko has enjoyed uninterrupted power in Belarus since 1994. He has earned a reputation as an authoritarian leader with a lamentable reputation on human rights in general and freedom of the press in particular.

Last year, BBC Monitoring produced a brief profile of the Belarusian leader to mark his 25 years in office. The next Presidential elections in Belarus are set for August 2020. Lukashenko has declared his intention to run yet again and is expected to win by a massive margin. In parliamentary elections last year, no opposition parties won any seats at all.

 

Seen a mistake?

Select text and press Ctrl+Enter to send a suggested correction to the editor

Select text and press Report a mistake to send a suggested correction to the editor

Related articles
Diplomacy
Politics