On 24 May, Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to discuss the preparations for the NATO Summit in Vilnius to be held in July this year and continuing support for Ukraine. K. Kariņš also met with Christopher Cavoli, General, NATO Military Commander in Europe during his visit to Brussels.
The Prime Minister pointed out that Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has only strengthened NATO. Finland has joined the Alliance and Latvia hopes that Sweden will join it in the near future, contributing to defence capabilities and security of the Baltic region.
According to the Prime Minister, continuing efforts are required to increase NATO’s combat capabilities, including by implementing the Madrid NATO Summit decisions on the strengthening of the Eastern flank.
The Prime Minister also brought attention to the need to send a clear signal to Ukraine that it will receive support from NATO member states for as long as necessary. K. Kariņš stated that after the victory Ukraine should become a member of NATO – only full membership of Ukraine in the military alliance will guarantee lasting peace in Europe and the end of Russia’s military aggression.
According to the Prime Minister, Latvia has already provided aid to Ukraine of more than 1 % of GDP, and will continue to support it. Latvia has committed itself to channel funding of 2.5 % of GDP by 2025 and 3 % of GDP by 2027 to strengthening its defence capabilities. Latvia is implementing the National Defence Service and will purchase the coast guard and missile artillery systems and, together with Estonia – the medium range air defence systems.
“Latvia will continue to support Ukraine and invest in strengthening its defence capabilities, and will cooperate with allies, thereby enhancing the European security,” said K. Kariņš.