Baltic States and France discuss measures for European security and stability

Baltic States and France discuss measures for European security and stability

On 27 June 2023, in Paris, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, France Catherine Colonna, Estonia Margus Tsahkna, and Lithuania Gabrielius Landsbergis, met for a discussion on long-term practical and political support to Ukraine and preparations for the NATO Summit in Vilnius on 11 and 12 July.

In an exchange of views on current issues related to ensuring European security and stability, Edgars Rinkēvičs thanked France for its involvement in the strengthening of NATO’s eastern flank and for assistance provided to Ukraine.

“We truly appreciate the contribution provided by France to the enhancement of security in the Baltic States, and all kinds of support to Ukraine, especially since February 24 last year, the Foreign Minister pointed out,” Latvian FM said.

“France and the 3 Balts strengthen their cooperation in support of the #Ukraine and in favor of a strong and united #Europe,” tweeted Minister Colonna.

Gabrielius Landsbergis emphasised that “Russia’s instability is dangerous for the whole continent of Europe, not just the Baltic States”.

Edgars Rinkēvičs highlighted the importance of the transatlantic link for the development of Europe’s military and technological capabilities, as well as for ensuring long-term security and stability in Europe. The Minister underlined that Europe should increase the capacity of its defence industry both to enable long term support for Ukraine and to enhance Europe’s defence capabilities.

During a discussion on Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, Edgars Rinkēvičs said the EU should be prepared for different scenarios related to developments in Russia. “The Baltic States are closely monitoring developments as concerns the possible moving of the Russian paramilitary group to Belarus. The Baltic States are prepared to respond to a direct or indirect security threat and, if necessary, expect support from the EU and NATO,” the Foreign Minister said.

“Like-minded discussions today in Paris. We spoke about holding Russia accountable for crimes of aggression in Ukraine,” tweeted Margus Tsahkna after the meeting.

Edgars Rinkēvičs also called for continued work on the establishment of international legal instruments that would make it possible to hold Russia accountable for its aggression against Ukraine and the war crimes perpetrated. At the same time, the Minister noted the need for the NATO summit in Vilnius to offer Ukraine a clear roadmap for its course towards full membership in NATO.

During the meeting, Edgars Rinkēvičs urged for Russian and Belarusian athletes to be banned from participation in the Olympic Games, which will take place in Paris in the summer of 2024. The Minister noted that the Latvian state and its sports sector hold a united position on this issue. Edgars Rinkēvičs then drew attention to the fact that a large part of the Russian and Belarusian athletes were members of the armed forces or power structures directly involved in the military aggression against Ukraine.

The Foreign Ministers of the Baltic States and France also discussed a number of topics on the EU agenda, including EU enlargement, the EU’s relations with China and cooperation with African countries.

Political consultations between the Foreign Ministers of the Baltic States and France are held annually. Their aim is to exchange views on bilateral and multilateral cooperation issues, to share experience and promote a common perspective of the Baltic States and France of current developments in foreign affairs.


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