On Thursday 24 February, Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš participated in the European Council meeting of the Heads of State and Government of the European Union (EU) in Brussels. It was specially convened to decide on the EU’s response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
Following the European Council, K. Kariņš stresses that the EU leaders have agreed on further strong EU sanctions against Putin’s regime, which will affect the financial, energy and transport sectors, access to various technologies, as well as Putin’s leading officials and are coordinated with the partners and allies of the European Union. The EU leaders also made a decision to leave the door open for Ukraine to join the EU in the future.
"Naivety about Putin’s regime has disappeared in Europe. This could be clearly felt around the European Council’s table, where all the leaders of the member states discussed further sanctions against Putin’s regime, on which the European Commission is continuing work by preparing the next package of sanctions with our partners and allies. Putin’s regime needs to be isolated internationally and this could be achieved by continuing the sanctions’ policy," said K. Kariņš after the European Council meeting, noting that Latvia, together with the other Baltic States, highlights the need for a more prompt response.
The EU Heads of State and Government also strongly condemned the involvement of Belarus in Russia's military aggression and called for the swift preparation and adoption of another package of sanctions, including individual and economic sanctions, which will also apply to Belarus. The European Commission continues to work on further sanctions that will follow if Russian President Putin continues hostilities against the Ukrainian people.
The EU leaders agreed on additional support for Ukraine in its fight against the aggressor. The EU, together with its partners, will continue to support Ukraine and its people through extensive assistance, providing additional political and financial support, humanitarian aid and also the supply of military equipment. Latvia will also continue its support Ukraine. The responsible services and the government are currently actively examining further support opportunities.