On the second day of his working visit to the Republic of Latvia, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Ruslan Stefanchuk met with the Prime Minister of Latvia Krisjanis Karins.
At the beginning of the meeting, Ruslan Stefanchuk expressed his gratitude for Latvia’s strong and unwavering support for Ukraine’s membership in NATO, particularly on the eve of the Vilnius Summit, which was the main topic of conversation.
“Ukraine is looking forward to a powerful message from Vilnius. The only question is who will hear it: Ukraine or russia. I would very much like the message formulated in Vilnius to be clear and aimed primarily at the Ukrainian soldiers on the front line,” said the Speaker of the Parliament of Ukraine, adding that the upcoming summit bears a high level of responsibility for what will happen to global security in the future.
In this context, the interlocutors also discussed long-term defence support for Ukraine and the security situation in Europe and the world.
The meeting also touched upon the issue of Ukraine’s membership in the EU. Ruslan Stefanchuk thanked Latvia for its appreciation of Ukraine’s achievements on the European integration path and stressed that “our next aspiration is to start negotiations on full membership in the EU this year”.
The meeting also touched upon a number of other issues of importance to Ukraine, such as the continuation and expansion of training programmes for Ukrainian military personnel in Latvia; the development of mechanisms to bring russian war criminals to justice for crimes committed in Ukraine, including Latvia’s support for the creation of a special tribunal for russia; compensation for the enormous damage caused by russia; and Latvia’s participation in the reconstruction of Ukraine, including patronage of the infrastructure of Chernihiv region.
At the end of the meeting, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine reiterated that Ukraine greatly appreciates the support and assistance it has received over the past sixteen months since russia’s unprovoked, illegal full-scale military invasion.
For his part, the Prime Minister of Latvia Krisjanis Karins expressed his admiration for the struggle of the Ukrainian people against the invader, and for the courage and heroism of the Ukrainian army.
“It is difficult to find an excuse for russia’s cruel and aggressive war. The courage and heroism of your soldiers amaze everyone. Today we are trying to help your soldiers, but I am sure that tomorrow they will be training our army. So, my country stands by your side and will continue to support you as long as you need it,” said Krisjanis Karins.
He also assured his Ukrainian counterpart of Latvia’s unconditional support for both Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic and European integration aspirations.