President: Latvia must strengthen ties with transatlantic partners

President: Latvia must strengthen ties with transatlantic partners
President: Latvia must strengthen ties with transatlantic partners

Edgars Rinkevičs

Photo. LETA/Zane Biter

One of the most important priorities of Latvia’s foreign policy is strengthening relations with transatlantic partners, emphasized the President Edgars Rinkēvičs, who met with the new Minister of Foreign Affairs Baiba Braži in the Riga Palace on Wednesday.

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As presidential adviser Mārtiņš DrēĖeris informed LETA agency, the parties met to discuss the priorities set by the minister, the most important foreign policy issues of the moment, including issues on the agenda of the European Union (EU) and NATO, as well as strengthening transatlantic ties. During the meeting, the President congratulated the Minister of Foreign Affairs on taking office and expressed his support for the work priorities set by Braže.

The President emphasized the need to strengthen ties with transatlantic partners. In his opinion, this is particularly important for the security of Latvia, NATO’s Eastern flank and Ukraine. In Rinkēvičs’ view, this is also essential in preparing for the upcoming NATO summit in Washington, USA.


During the meeting, the President and the Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed their support for Ukraine until its victory. He pointed out that Latvia will continue to provide all kinds of support to Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression, including military support, which is particularly important at the moment. Also, according to Rinkēvičs, work should be continued on the implementation of as strict and effective sanctions against Russia as possible.

The two officials also discussed Latvia’s campaign for candidacy for the non-permanent seat of the United Nations Security Council in 2026-2027. Rinkēvičs and Braže agreed that Latvia’s application is a confirmation of the country’s readiness to take on additional responsibility and contribute to strengthening global security.

During the meeting, the President also noted the importance of coordination in foreign policy issues, which is particularly important in the current geopolitical conditions.

LETA already wrote that the Saeima approved the long-time diplomat Braži as the minister of foreign affairs on April 19. He was nominated for the position by Prime Minister Evika Siliņa (JV). 66 MPs voted for Braži, 11 voted against, and nine MPs abstained.

Braže was previously the ambassador for special tasks of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also the deputy secretary general of NATO for public diplomacy and the ambassador of Latvia to Great Britain, Indonesia, and the Netherlands.

Braže has a legal education at the University of Latvia, as well as a master’s degree in communication science. For some time, the diplomat also studied in the master’s program of Southeast Asian studies at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand.

A new minister of foreign affairs had to be chosen, because at the beginning of April, ex-prime minister Krišjānis Kariņš (JV) left this position, thus reacting to the decision of the General Prosecutor’s Office to start a criminal trial, which will assess his practice of using private aircraft during a series of business trips.

The scandal regarding the private flights used by the delegations led by Kariņš during the premiership has been in the public domain for several months, and they have drawn criticism from a part of society. From 2021 to September 2023, according to the information gathered by the State Chancellery, 613,830 euros were spent on private flights for the business trips of Kariņas and his employees, but together with the part of the costs covered by the European Union, the expenses reach 1.36 million euros.

Braže was unofficially mentioned as the most likely candidate for this position immediately after Kariņš announced his resignation. Initially, the “New Unity” publicly expressed its determination to nominate a new foreign minister from among its ranks, however, a non-partisan diplomat was nominated for the position.



The article is in Latvian

Tags: President Latvia strengthen ties transatlantic partners


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