Latvian PM Siliņa has big day in Brussels

New Latvian Prime Minister Evika Siliņa had a busy day ahead of her September 27, including meetings with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Siliņa, who was only confirmed in her new role on September 15, started the day alongside von der Leyen, who thanked Latvia for its unwavering support for Ukraine.

"The first topic that I want to mention in our common work is your unwavering support to Ukraine. And I really want to thank you for that. Latvia has backed our successive waves of sanctions against Russia and our different financial aid packages for Ukraine.

"You have been a strong supporter from the very beginning. So, we are very grateful for that. European financial support remains, of course, a lifeline for this country – a country that is so bravely fighting for its freedom and for its future," said von der Leyen.

The EC President also praised the decision by the Baltic states to desynchronize their electricity grids from Russia and Belarus a year earlier than originally planned. 


In turn, Siliņa said: "My goverment will keep a clear pro-European approach. Latvia can only be strong and prosperous as strong [as] is the European Union. It also reflects the viewpoint of Latvian society. We are observing a record high level of support for the EU in Latvia." She did not say which source formed the basis of this claim.   

"The war in Europe continues. Russia is attacking independent Ukraine. My government will continue to urge for the EU's strong support for Ukraine for as long as it takes," said Siliņa.

Later in the day Siliņa held another press point, this time with Stoltenberg. The pair issued statements but did not take questions.

Stoltenberg thanked Siliņa for Latvia’s contributions to the NATO Alliance, including leadership on defense spending, deployments to missions in Kosovo and Iraq, and substantial political and military support provided to Ukraine.

The Secretary General also hailed the steady progress made by Ukraine’s counter-offensive, in which Ukrainian forces have pressed past Russia’s first line of defence and are now inflicting heavy damage on Russia’s Black Sea fleet. 

Siliņa said "Latvia stands strongly with Ukraine," providing a reminder that Latvian military instructors are training Ukrainian forces and Latvian hospitals are treating wounded soldiers.

"It is our common task to continue supporting Ukraine until it achieves victory. To guarantee long-term peace in Europe, we have to welcome Ukraine in NATO," she said.



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