While attending the Nordic-Baltic (NB8) speakers’ meeting in Norway on 21-23 August, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, specifically addressed the question of regional security and resilience against hybrid threats.
“Growing hybrid threats require us to continue close cooperation and achieve greater coordination at the regional, NATO and the European Union level. We must further strengthen our cyber defence capabilities and our ability to withstand the Kremlin’s information warfare and attempts to rig elections,” underlined Speaker Mūrniece.
Ināra Mūrniece stressed that people’s ability to identify and avoid fake news or propaganda is crucial. It is vital to strengthen our media landscape, the freedom and quality of media. We have several cooperation success stories, including the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence in Riga and the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats in Helsinki.
When discussing Ukraine and relations with Russia, the speakers of NB8 countries reiterated their firm support to the reforms implemented by Ukraine and the country’s European aspirations. The Speaker of the Saeima acknowledged the efforts and patience required to implement the reforms. It is important to continue the current approach towards Russia until it has fully implemented the Minsk agreement with regard to Ukraine.
The NB8 speakers also expressed support for Eastern Partnership countries, noting that the joint visit to Georgia April 2017 was successful and expressing readiness to continue the on-going cooperation.
The meeting between the speakers of NB8 countries and Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag, focused on the future of Europe. Speaker Mūrniece expressed her support for a strong European Union and pointed to Latvia’s readiness to be in the European core. She also underlined the importance of Trans-Atlantic ties.
During the meeting with Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the speakers discussed challenges facing the Council of Europe. Secretary Jagland also presented his report on the state of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in Europe in the context of growing populism.
The speakers of NB8 countries also visited the Centre for Cyber and Information Security of the Norwegian Armed Forces.