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Friday 30.09.2016 | Name days: Menarda, Elma, Elna
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Murniece: USA is Latvia’s most important strategic partner

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUUnited States of America remain Latvia’s most important strategic partner. The country highly values the support provided by USA, including in the field of enhancing state defence capabilities and border protection, as emphasized by Saeima speaker Inara Murniece during her meeting with US Congress officials.

During their visit to USA, Saeima speaker Inara Murniece and head of the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee Ojars Eriks Kalnins met with President pro tempore of the United States Senate Orrin Hatch, Co-Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ben Cardin, Co-Chair of Foreign Affairs Committee and the Regional Security Cooperation Subcommittee Jeanne Shaheen and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman, Senator John McCain, as reported by Saeima’s press-service.

«Latvia understands security challenges. We are committed to increase the state defence budget to 2% of GDP by 2018. There is support for this initiative in the Saeima and society,» – Murniece told American officials. American officials welcomed this step by Latvia, adding that it serves as an example to other NATO member states.

«It is important for Latvia and the entire Baltic region that decisions are made during the upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw in relation to long-term and increased presence of NATO forces in the region,» – said the Saeima speaker, adding that residents want to see a strong and unified Europe. Murniece emphasized that regular military exercises in Baltic States demonstrate the alliance’s unity.

The delegation of the Latvian parliament expressed gratitude for support provided to the Baltic region’s security, including the proposal of the US administration to allocate EUR 3.4 billion to the European Reassurance Initiative.

Latvia pays special attention to strategic communication. Propaganda combating measures are a major focus for NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence in Riga. The Baltic Media Excellence Centre has also been established in Latvia. Its projects are realized in Baltic States and Easter Partnership Member States, said Murniece.

The situation in Ukraine was also discussed in the US Congress. Saeima’s delegation noted that Latvia values the support USA continues to provide to Ukraine, especially emphasizing the importance of the Transatlantic Union. The two parties agreed that sanctions against Russia should remain until the Minsk Treaty has been completed.

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