Don't trade Ukraine for Syria, says Foreign Minister

Take note – story published 8 years ago

Latvia's Foreign Minister, Edgars Rinkevics, on Friday issued a reminder to Europe not to forget the conflict in eastern Ukraine - and not to weaken sanctions against Russia in order to win its cooperation in Syria.

Speaking after a meeting with his counterparts from Estonia and Lithuania in Vilnius, Rinkevics said the Baltic states had been among the most staunch supporters of Ukraine and would continue to be such.

However, he also sounded a warning that armed conflict in Ukraine was far from finished and the fate of the country's eastern provices should not become a bargaining chip in geopolitical horse-trading over Russia's role in the Syrian conflict. 

"Conflict resolution is only one solution - the Minsk agreement [needs] full implementation. While this is not done, there is no reason to take steps to reduce the international pressure on Russia," an indirect summary of Rinkevics' views released by the Latvian Foreign Ministry said. 

"The Baltic countries should continue to constantly remind the world about the illegal annexation of Crimea. The fight against terrorism and the resolution of the Syrian conflict should not come at the expense of Ukraine," the statement said.

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