Prime Minister meets with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus
On Thursday, July 19, Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus Vladimir Makei in Riga.
During the meeting, they discussed cooperation between the two countries, especially in the field of economy and security.
M. Kučinskis informed the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus that this week the government confirmed the Latvian and Belarusian government plan of measures for medium-term cooperation in key directions.
Cooperation in transit and logistics is one of the most important areas of cooperation. The Latvian transport system with its three major ports has been handling Belarusian cargo for years. Latvia has a great potential to strengthen this cooperation and not only to increase the volumes, but also to create various additional value-added services. By handling and batching goods in Latvia, Belarus has access to new opportunities to increase the competitiveness of its goods in the EU market and a great opportunity to significantly reduce costs by saving on customs duties and charges.
“I would like to emphasize that Latvian ports are open to Belarusian entrepreneurs,” said the Prime Minister.
Vladimir Makei was also informed that in order to increase the efficiency of the transit corridor, Latvia has started the implementation of a railway electrification project in the East-West transit corridor.
Both sides agreed that there is potential for collaboration between scientists and entrepreneurs, leading to world-class solutions in areas such as quantum computing, computer vision, and modern language technologies.
M. Kučinskis and V. Makei also agreed on the need to improve the operations of the Latvian-Belarusian border checkpoints, especially considering that both countries will together organize the Ice Hockey World Championship in 2021. The Prime Minister received a confirmation that work is under way in Belarus to extend the visa-free travel regime for EU citizens until the beginning of the championship.
Latvia and Belarus have good neighbourly relations and active cooperation in various fields. Belarus is the fourth largest trade partner of Latvia outside the EU and the largest one among the countries of the Eastern Partnership.
Press Secretary to the Prime Minister