The pair were in Vilnius earlier in the day as part of a drive to express support for the EU and NATO member states currently facing a hybrid attack from the Belarus regime, which is trafficking human beings to the borders of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.
Honored to host @vonderleyen and @jensstoltenberg today in Rīga 🇱🇻. Our discussions will focus on the latest developments at the EU external border with Belarus, regional security situation and the EU - NATO cooperation. pic.twitter.com/6rXGV9QAPf— Krišjānis Kariņš (@krisjaniskarins) November 28, 2021
Stoltenberg will remain in Latvia for several days as part of the NATO foreign ministers' meeting being held November 30-December 1 in Rīga.
A joint press conference was held late Sunday afternoon in which all three leaders stressed their unity in the face of various current threats (viewable below).
To act in a timely, effective manner, proper information and analysis capacity is essential.— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) November 28, 2021
This is why the EU needs its own Joint Situational Awareness Centre.
Such a centre would help the EU bundle its know-how on countering hybrid attacks. https://t.co/UHaua62J50
Kariņš said "Such visits at such a time are very significant" and repeated a previously-expressed view that if Russia or Belarus think they can sow division among EU or NATO countries by means of "Very organized and aggressive disinformation campaigns", they will end up having exactly the opposite effect.
In addition Kariņš said Russia's Gazprom needed to fulfil its commercial obligations to EU countries
EC President von der Leyen said additional funding would be made available to secure the border, including electronic equipment and patrol vehicles.
“We stand united with Latvia,” she said, adding that it was time for the European Union to have its own 'Joint Situational Awareness Center'.
"Such a center would help the EU bundle its know-how on countering hybrid attacks," von der Leyen said.
Stoltenberg said the discussions had been "substantive" and condemned the "cynical and inhumane exploitation of vulnerable people which aims to put pressure on neighboring countries."
"We also discussed Russia’s unexplained and unjustified military buildup near Ukraine," Stoltenberg said, and called upon Russia to "de-escalate" the situation.
"NATO remains vigilant. We stand ready to defend all allies," he said, adding that NATO would continue to lend "practical support" to Ukraine
The upcoming discussions among foreign ministers in Rīga “will help to strengthen our alliance in an uncertain world,” Stoltenberg said.