Latvian PM Kariņš meets Scholz in Berlin

Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš is in Germany March 1 and 2 on a working visit during which meetings with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and other officials are planned, as well as a speech at the German Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (BVMW) annual forum.

Kariņš will meet with Scholz on Wednesday afternoon, when it is planned to discuss providing support to Ukraine in the fight against Russian military aggression, the security situation in Europe and the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius in June, as well as Latvian and German bilateral relations and economic cooperation. A joint press conference is planned after the meeting.

During the working visit, the Prime Minister is scheduled to meet with German Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Economy and Climate Protection Robert Habeck and the head of the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Friedrich Merz.

Speaking to the press after their meeting, both Kariņš and Scholz underlined their support for Ukraine, though it was noticeable that on most questions Kariņš spoke at much greater length than the brief replies given by Scholz.

Kariņš in particular stressed that the war in Ukraine was likely to be protracted and that Ukraine's friends and the societies in those democratic countries should be prepared for such a course of events.

"The challenege that we all face collectively – in Latvia, in Germany, in France, in the UK, in the US – is to make sure that our societies understand that this is not a short-term event. This is not for the spring season. This is potentially for many years to come, where we will have to re-adapt our militaries, our military industry, to be able to step up to a much bigger challenge," said Kariņš.

"The public strongly understands this and it's important that we as leaders remind that the war in Ukraine is about the basic values that we live by, and we cannot afford to let the rule of force overcome the rule of law, because that is a great danger to our way of living. I am convinced that we are up to the challenge, but it will be challenging because it's not a one-season event, unfortunately," he added

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