Zelensky, Latvia’s PM Silina discuss continued aid to Ukraine

Zelensky, Latvia’s PM Silina discuss continued aid to Ukraine

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine met during his official visit to Latvia on Thursday with the country’s Prime Minister, Evika Silina.

That’s according to the President’s Office, Ukrinform reports.

The Head of State thanked Evika Siliņa for the consistent and comprehensive support for our country by the government and citizens of Latvia in the wake of full-scale aggression of Russia, according to the report.

“Thank you for the very warm attitude towards our people from the first days of this war. I would like to thank you for the military aid packages, in particular for the decision on another large package. This is a very important decision for us now, when we need it. Thank you for the humanitarian aid for Ukrainians," he said.

The parties discussed ways to strengthen the Ukrainian Army and continue military and technical assistance to Ukraine, including Latvia's readiness to be one of the leaders in the drone coalition.

Read also: Zelensky meets with Latvia’s Saeima speaker

The report notes that during the meeting, Volodymyr Zelensky and Evika Siliņa discussed concrete steps to support Ukraine on its path to EU and NATO membership and cooperation on international platforms. The president noted the important and effective role of Latvia in this process.

“The parties also noted Ukraine's progress in implementing important reforms that are necessary, in particular, for our country's European and Euro-Atlantic integration,” reads the report.

The two sides also emphasized the need to start consultations with a view to concluding a bilateral agreement on security commitments between Ukraine and Latvia.

The president noted that Latvia's decision to confiscate Russian state property is an important precedent and example for other European states.

Zelensky and Siliņa also discussed joint work to step up sanctions pressure on Russia at both European and national levels.

Read also: Zelensky: NATO countries at Washington summit should bring Ukraine's accession closer and show they are not afraid of Russia

The head of state expressed special gratitude to the prime minister of Latvia for the assistance in the Ukraine recovery efforts and readiness to continue implementing projects to restore civil infrastructure in Chernihiv region.

In the presence of Zelensky and Silina, an agreement was signed between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Government of the Republic of Latvia on technical and financial cooperation.

The conclusion of the Agreement will enable the creation of an organizational and legal framework for Ukrainian-Latvian cooperation in the use of international technical assistance. The document will also facilitate the implementation of assistance projects for Ukraine on the part of Latvia to supply equipment and materials for reconstruction, transfer modern technologies to Ukraine, and implement priority reforms in the field of European integration.

The Agreement will increase the Republic of Latvia's involvement in Ukraine's reconstruction process. For this purpose, the draft state budget of Latvia for 2024 provides EUR 5 million. In particular, EUR 2 million will be used through the Ministry of Economics of Latvia to purchase equipment and materials for reconstruction projects in Chernihiv region; EUR 3 million will be used through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia for social infrastructure reconstruction projects in Chernihiv region.

Also, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministry of Strategic Industries of Ukraine and the Federation of Security and Defense Industries of the Republic of Latvia on cooperation in the field of defense and security.

The Memorandum aims to promote cooperation in the defense and security sectors. It envisages support for the implementation of joint projects in the field of DefenceTech, including projects for the development and manufacture of drones, electronic warfare, land and sea demining, and other defense products. Cooperation will also cover cybersecurity, communications, and integrated solutions.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, President Volodymyr Zelensky made a tour of the Baltic States on January 10-11. He first arrived to Lithuania, after which he visited Estonia and Latvia.

Photo: Ukrainian President’s Office

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