President Levits visits Ukraine

On September 9, State President Egils Levits arrived in Kyiv and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to confirm Latvia's strong support for Ukraine and to discuss the necessary future political and practical support for Ukraine.

According to a release from the Presidential Chancellery, while in Ukraine Levits stated: "For Ukraine, not only are military, financial and humanitarian support extremely important, but especially political support. Latvia is an ambassador for Ukraine in the European Union, NATO, the UN and the whole world. Together with like-minded people, Latvia insists that negotiations should be started as soon as possible at the European Union level on the further development of Ukraine's candidate state status."

The President emphasized that people in Latvia feel deep solidarity with Ukraine, because they know what the invasion of an independent country by a foreign country means. Latvia also believes that the war will end with Ukraine's victory, Levits said.

The President of Ukraine thanked Latvia for the assistance provided and emphasized that Latvia belongs to those countries which have provided proportionally the greatest support since the first day of the war.

During the meeting, Levits presented the Order of Viesturs to the President of Ukraine, as previously announced. In the other direction a plaque dated April 13, 2022, was unveiled in Slava Alley near the Marija Palace. The plaque symbolizes the day when state leaders including Levits first arrived in Ukraine after the war started by Russia.

 

Separately, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, met with representatives from international organisations and the implementers of projects supported by Latvia.

Since the beginning of the war, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has increased the amount of humanitarian aid and development assistance support to Ukraine. The overall support by Latvia’s civil society, private sector and state covering the costs of humanitarian aid, development cooperation and urgent needs amounts to almost 14.8 million euros.   

In a meeting with representatives from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and the International Committee of the Red Cross in Ukraine, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica referred positively to current cooperation. Since the onset of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, Latvia has made voluntary contributions of 120,000 euros to each of the three organisations. 

“It is obvious that Russia is obstructing the deliveries of humanitarian aid to people in the occupied territories. After the Russian army has been driven out from the areas it had under its control, evidence is revealed of inhuman conditions that civilians were held in, and of their torture. Those are blatant violations of international norms,” Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica noted.

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