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Friday 22.02.2019 | Name days: Rigonda, Adrians, Ārija
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Latvian minister does not support increasing funding for EU at expense of support payments

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs supports increasing funding for EU’s general foreign policy and defence, but not at the expense of cohesion and direct payments, as reported by Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Rinkēvičs participated in a meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg. During this meeting, they discussed the situation in Syria, including the possible chemical attack in Douma, EU-Russian relations, especially after elections in Russia and the nerve agent attack in Salisbury. Ministers also discussed preparation work for the 17 May EU-Western Balkans summit and cooperation in security matters.

When discussions reached the topic of EU external financial tools, EU’s multi-year budget after 2020 and the future of Europe’s neighbourhood relations, Rinkēvičs said foreign financial instruments for the next EU multi-year budget should not be increased at the expense of cohesion and direct payment policy.

«It is important to secure sufficient and geographically balanced funding for Europe’s neighbourhood policy after 2020. We have to maintain constant funding for defence of EU’s external borders, prevention of migration causes, provision of strategic communication and fight against disinformation. It is important to secure wider opportunities for Latvian, including non-governmental, small and medium-sized businessmen to become involved in acquisition and realization of external financial tools,» said Rinkēvičs.

Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Minister voiced support for the military attack performed against infrastructure in Syria by USA, France and United Kingdom on 14 April. He said it was an appropriate measure to prevent any future use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians.

«Use of chemical weapons is a cruel violation of international law and a serious crime. Latvia condemns the use of chemical weapons in Douma. There is no justification for such an act. Considering the critical humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta and Syria in general, we invite all sides, especially Syrian government and Russia, to immediately comply with UN Security Council cease-fire resolution. European Union’s role and unified stance is vitally important in this situation,» said Rinkēvičs.

The foreign affairs council discussed the situation in Russia after presidential elections and the nerve agent attack in Salisbury, UK. Latvia’s foreign affairs minister said that EU should be prepared to react to challenges presented by Russia. The minister invited adopting the so-called Magnitsky Law on an EU level. He also emphasized the importance of cooperation among member states to make sure the expelled Russian diplomats are no longer able to return to Europe. As for Nord Stream 2 project, the minister mentioned that it is not a two-way commercial project, but a matter that should be resolved on a European level.

During a discussion regarding EU-Western Balkans summit, Rinkēvičs voiced support for the goals outlined for the summit, because it provides an opportunity to nurture EU support for the Western Balkans region. For this region’s countries, on the other hand, the summit and EU support means stimulus to continue reforms.

«Latvia expects from the summit visible results and support for initiatives. We support Europe’s perspective for Western Balkan countries and acceptance of such countries for membership in EU. Further expansion of the European Union is only possible through strict compliance with all criteria, such as rule of law, economic and state administration reforms,» said the minister.


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