The minister met with Šermani to discuss bilateral relations between Latvia and the US, including economic cooperation between the two countries, especially in the fields of information technology and energy. The negotiating partners also discussed preparations for the NATO summit in Vilnius this summer, support to Ukraine so far and security policy issues in the region.
During the meeting, Rinkēvičs expressed his satisfaction with the close bilateral political and security cooperation that has developed between Latvia and the USA. The minister thanked the current administration of the US president for promoting the safe development, production and distribution of 5G technologies, especially among allies, and expressed Latvia’s readiness to supply world-requested 5G equipment, fully developed and manufactured in a NATO member – Latvia.
The officials discussed the upcoming NATO Summit in Vilnius in the summer. The minister thanked for the US military presence in the Baltic States region and assured that Latvia will continue to provide the support of the host country and receive the increased allied forces.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs informed that it is planned to increase national defense expenses to 2.5% of the gross domestic product by 2025 and 3% of the gross domestic product by 2027.
Rinkēvičs expressed the position that the US military presence is very important for the reliable deterrence and protection of NATO in the Baltic region and called on the US to invest in Latvia.
The officials discussed supporting Ukraine in the war against Russia. Latvia highly appreciates the significant contribution and support of the US leadership in Ukraine’s military efforts so far. Rinkēvičs expressed Latvia’s determination to continue to support Ukraine bilaterally as much as possible. Until now, Latvia has invested more than 1.14% (498 million euros) of the gross domestic product in military support.
During the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia expressed concern about Russia’s destabilizing activities in Moldova, which are purposefully carried out with hybrid attacks and disinformation campaigns in Moldova.