U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Latvia

The U.S. Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, is in Latvia November 30 to participate in a meeting of NATO foreign ministers. He also has a busy schedule of bilateral and side meetings, starting with a morning appointment at Rīga Castle to meet Latvian President Egils Levits.

Later in the day Blinken also met with Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš and his Latvian counterpart, Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs, after which there was a press conference (see below).

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According to the U.S. State Department, Blinken will "affirm the strong partnership between Latvia and the United States. While in Rīga, the Secretary will hold bilateral meetings with Allied counterparts and attend the NATO Foreign Ministerial to consult with Allies on issues central to the NATO Alliance and the security of the Transatlantic community."


During the press conference, Secretary Blinken reaffirmed the U.S.' "ironclad" commitment to Latvia and noted that some 400 million dollars have been provided since 2015 to strengthen Latvia's security.

He also said the U.S. and its allies were concerned by Russia's military buildup on the border with Ukraine and warned: "Any renewed aggression [by Russia against Ukraine] will have serious consequences,” adding that he will have "a lot more to say tomorrow," after full consultations with NATO allies.

"One thing I can tell is that we have seen Russia’s playbook many times over and part of that playbook is to attempt to create and manufacture a so-called provocation as justification for something that Russia was planning to do all along,” he suggested.

"Whether what's been reported fits into that playbook I don't know, but as I've already said... we are very concerned about the movements we've seen along Ukraine's border," he said

Latvia's Foreign Minister thanked the U.S. for its continued support, saying "Frankly we don’t need any new commitments because the one we already have is very strong," and said future cooperation on cyber-security and counter-disinformation efforts would be important.

"We see that the commitment to Europe by the United States is there," Rinkēvičs said. The full press conference can be watched below.

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