On Tuesday, 2 February, in Kiev Inese Lībiņa-Egnere, Deputy Speaker of the Saeima, met with Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine, and stated that “the Baltic and Nordic countries have always strongly supported Ukraine and will continue to do so in future. This commitment is demonstrated by the joint visit to Kiev of the highest-ranking officials of the parliaments of the Baltic and Nordic countries. Occupation of foreign territory, oppression of the population, persecution and false imprisonment are unacceptable in the 21st century. The speakers of the parliaments of the Baltic and Nordic countries strictly abide by their position that the West must continue the sanctions introduced against Russia.”
“Today, during our meeting with Crimean tatars we had a chance to hear witness accounts of life in the Russian occupied territories. We are concerned about the human rights situation in the Crimean peninsula, including the persecution of Crimean tatars, as well as violence and psychological pressure against them,” the Deputy Speaker noted during her meeting with President Poroshenko.
Lībiņa-Egenere stated that the parliamentarians of the Baltic and Nordic countries highly value Ukraine’s efforts and input in implementing the Minsk Agreements, as the conflict may be resolved only peacefully. She also noted, however, that it is clear that violations of the cease-fire, as well as the military, political and economic pressure exerted by Russia significantly encumbers the decision-making process.
“Revision of the restrictive measures in place can only occur upon complete implementation of the Minsk Agreements. We will continue our non-recognition policy regarding the annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol, also by keeping the sanctions against Russia in place,” the Deputy Speaker said.
The highest-ranking officials of the Baltic and Nordic countries (NB8) also met with Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Prime Minister of Ukraine, who informed them about the latest in the Ukrainian government’s work. On behalf of the visiting delegation, the Deputy Speaker of the Saeima expressed support for the reforms that Ukraine has already implemented, whilst also noting that there are still a lot of tasks to be accomplished, including a constitutional reform. The delegation expressed commitment to provide practical support for Ukraine and share experiences, for example, regarding reforms of the judicial system and combating corruption.
From 1 until 3 February the Deputy Speaker of the Saeima is visiting Ukraine on a joint visit with the highest-ranking officials of the parliaments of the Baltic and Nordic states (NB8). The visit was initiated by the Latvian presidency of NB8.
The NB8 parliamentarians have scheduled meetings with high level state officials of Ukraine, as well as representatives of the National Security and Defence Council, Prosecutor General’s Office, the National Anti-corruption Bureau, the parliament and non-governmental organisations.
The NB8 format brings together five Nordic countries – Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden – and the three Baltic States – Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia; it has been an active cooperation platform since the early 1990’s. Meetings of the prime ministers, parliamentarians, ministers and other officials of the participating countries take place on a regular basis in the framework of NB8.
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Saeima Press Service