Baltic and Finnish Presidents meeting in Rīga

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On Monday, December 19 Latvian President Egils Levits played host to his counterparts from Finland, Estonia and Lithuania. 

First to arrive Monday morning was President of Finland Sauli Niinistö to discuss regional security, bilateral cooperation and Nordic-Baltic cooperation. After the meeting, both presidents gave brief statements to the media (below).

Later in the day day the President of Latvia will host the annual meeting between the heads of Baltic States at Riga Castle, welcoming the President of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda and the President of Estonia Alar Karis. Topics of discussion will include regional security, support for Ukraine and regional infrastructure initiatives in the field of energy and transport, particuarly the Rail Baltica project.

After the meeting, the heads of all three Baltic countries gave a joint press conference, which you can watch below.

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On relations with Russia, President Levits said: "Latvia wants to have correct relations with Russia. That is possible when also the other side – Russia – behaves correctly. That means in accordance with international law and good and friendly relations with other countries. So we want to have correct relations and we hope that one day we will have such kind of relations because it's also in the interests of Russia."

The Presidents also discussed accelerating their energy independence from Russia with President Nauseda suggesting February 2024 might be a target date for complete desynchronization with the Russian electricity system rather than the previously agreed date of 2025.

The presidents of the Baltic states reaffirmed that they support the creation of an international tribunal to assess Russia's responsibility for the war in Ukraine.



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