US Congressmen discuss regional concerns on Riga visit

State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Andrejs Pildegovičs, met with a delegation of the United States Congressmen from the House of Representatives August 5, led by Representative Rob Wittman, member of the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services, Chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee. 

Pildegovičs said Latvia appreciates the "decisive action" of the United States during the Ukrainian crisis, and the U.S. military presence and regular exercises in the Baltic region.

At the same time, Latvia is working to strengthen its national defense capacity, he added, according to a release from the Foreign Ministry.

Congressman Rob Wittman confirmed strong support for regional security and stressed that the U.S. remains committed to strengthening collective defense in Europe. He stressed that persistent rotational presence of the U.S. troops in Latvia and the region will be continued.

Wittman also suggested that gas deliveries from the U.S. to consumers in Europe and the Baltic States could possibly take place in the coming year.

The U.S. Congressional delegation has arrived in Latvia as part of a regional visit. Before their arrival to Latvia, the congressmen visited Belgium and Poland, and will later depart for Estonia. While in Latvia, the delegation will also meet with members of the Saeima, the Minister of Economy, the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of Defence, as well as visiting the Ādaži military base to meet U.S. troops currently stationed there. 

The delegation also included Representative Madeleine Bordallo (the House Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support), Representative Bill Flores (the House Committee on Energy and Commerce), Representative Robert Pittenger (the House Committee on Financial Services), and Representative Kenny Marchant (the House Committee of Ways and Means).

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