The Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Olena Kondratiuk met with the Latvian solidarity mission, which recently visited Ukrainian cities from the west to the east of Ukraine. The Latvian side was represented by the Ambassador of Latvia to Ukraine Ilgvars Klava, Ambassador of Latvia to Ukraine (2011-2015) Argita Daudze, volunteer and former Saeima deputy Veiko Spolitis, well-known Latvian military journalist Atis Klimovics, volunteer and officer of the Latvian National Guard Juris Ulmanis.

 "All of them are long-standing and loyal friends of the Ukrainian people, and I am grateful to them and Latvia for their support over the years. The sisterhood between Ukraine and Latvia is a truly unique bond between the nations," said Olena Kondratiuk.

During the meeting, the interlocutors discussed Latvia's experience of European integration and Ukraine's further actions in connection with the European Commission's recommendation to start negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU.

"There can be no fatigue with Ukraine in the EU and the Western world. We need any support and assistance both at the official level and at the level of people-to-people and cultural diplomacy to withstand and win the war," the Vice Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament stressed.

For his part, a representative of the Latvian delegation, Juris Ulmanis, who has been volunteering for the Armed Forces of Ukraine since 2015 and helping the families of fallen Ukrainian soldiers, handed the Vice Speaker a flag of Ukraine that had been on the top of the world — Mount Everest.

"Within an hour, the Ukrainian flag, which symbolises the steadfastness of Ukrainians, was on the highest peak in the world. This is something I could do personally as a climber. This is my expression of respect to all Ukrainian defenders who are fighting for the freedom and independence of Ukraine," said Juris Ulmanis.

According to the Vice-Speaker, "the flag of Ukraine, which has been to the top of the world, has returned home — to the very heart of Ukrainian democracy and parliamentarism!"

Since the beginning of the full-scale war, Juris Ulmanis, together with his Latvian friends, has been raising funds for the needs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, purchasing vehicles, equipment and gear and personally delivering all of this to the war zone. He also wrote and published the book When War Becomes Personal, dedicated to the fallen Ukrainian soldiers who were friends of the author. The book has been translated into Ukrainian. The meeting participants also agreed that the book would be translated into English.

"Our Latvian friends will present it in other countries to tell the truth about the russian invasion and urge people to support Ukraine to victory. Thank you, Latvia!" said the Vice Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament.


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