Swedish, Latvian Foreign Ministers talk NATO and regional security

Take note – story published 1 year ago

On January 27, 2023, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Sweden, Tobias Billström, was on a working visit to Latvia, meeting the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia.

The officials discussed the bilateral relations between Latvia and Sweden, regional cooperation and the security situation in the region, including the war waged by Russia in Ukraine and assistance to Ukraine, Sweden’s accession to NATO, and the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union.


At a press conference after the meeting, Rinkēvičs once again emphasized the potential 'third country' attempts to delay the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO, in the context of the recent burning of the Kuran at a demonstration in Stockholm infuriating the Turkish President.

"What is being done by some radical people, possibly with the support of third countries, aimed at provoking us is absolutely unacceptable. Any attempts to burn the Koran, Bibles, any attempts to infuriate or persecute any religious groups are unacceptable," said Rinkēvičs. "The [NATO] membership of Sweden and Finland is important for our regional security and the security of the whole Alliance, including Turkey."

"The accession of Sweden to NATO will be an important contribution to the Latvian and Baltic region security, where the threat posed by Russia is a long-term issue," said Rinkēvičs.

Talking about the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Billström said: 

"I envisage a shift in the Swedish foreign policy. We will put an emphasis on northern Europe, [..] and into this comes the question of the Nordic and the Baltic countries and the European Union. These are the three pillars on which we base our foreign policy."


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