On 3 February, Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš met with Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas and Prime Minister of Lithuania Ingrida Šimonytė in Tallinn (Estonia). During the meeting, the Prime Minister emphasized that Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia must continue to invest in defence and security, thereby contributing to reinforced security of NATO Alliance.
Our main task – individual strength, strength in the community. Today’s meeting in Tallinn reaffirms that Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are ready to work together to contribute to their national defence capabilities, thereby strengthening the NATO alliance as a whole," said K. Kariņš.
The Prime Minister underlined that unity at the level of both the Baltic States, the EU and NATO is the most effective way to withstand and counter the aggression of Russia’s imperialism, including by providing tirelessly all the necessary support to Ukraine.
We must not lessen proving support to Ukraine. Peace can only be achieved through Ukraine’s victory in the war against Russia’s imperialism. We, the three Baltic States, must continue to lead by example and further actively support Ukraine, by providing it with all the necessary assistance," said the Prime Minister, noting that Latvia’s aid to Ukraine amounts to more than 1 % of the country’s GDP.
In the light of the forthcoming NATO summit in Vilnius this summer, it is essential that the commitment of the NATO Madrid Summit, namely to strengthen the security of the Baltic States through increased NATO’s military presence in the region, be continued. The Prime Minister pointed out that the three Baltic States continue to invest in enhancing defence capabilities. The Latvian government plans to approve the 2023 draft state budget, which provides significant additional funding to improve defence capabilities.
The Baltic Prime Ministers also discussed energy security and the implementation of the Rail Baltica project, which are essential for economic development and security of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
K. Kariņš also expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Kaja Kallas for organising the first meeting of the Baltic Prime Ministers this year. In 2023, Estonia takes over the Presidency of the Baltic Council of Ministers from Latvia.