Crisis in Ukraine the central topic of the Foreign Affairs Committee during the spring session

(30.06.2014.)
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“The crisis in Ukraine, relations with Russia, preparations for the Latvian presidency of the Council of the European Union at the beginning of next year and the NATO Summit in Great Britain have been the main topics for the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima during the spring session of parliament,” recounted Ojārs Ēriks Kalniņš, Chairman of the Committee.

The situation in Ukraine was also one of the main issues discussed by the highest public officials on their official visits abroad – the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee accompanied Solvita Āboltiņa, Speaker of the Saeima, on her visit to China, and he also accompanied Andris Bērziņš, President of Latvia, on his visit to Turkey. Likewise, this issue was discussed during the spring session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (PA), noted Kalniņš, who is also Head of the Latvian delegation to the NATO PA.

During the spring session, the Foreign Affairs Committee organised in Riga a meeting of foreign affairs committees of the parliaments of the Baltic States. “During this meeting we held discussions with our colleagues from the other Baltic States on topics such as the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga, as well as possible revision of the Eastern Partnership initiative. We expressed the opinion that it is important to continue dialogue with all of the Eastern Partnership countries and that the EU should agree upon an arms embargo against Russia until the situation in Ukraine deescalates,” Chairman Kalniņš declared.

The Chairman of the Committee pointed out that during the spring session, the Foreign Affairs Committee considered several draft laws the most important of which was the draft law endorsed by the Committee and adopted by the Saeima on the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse.

In conclusion, Chairman Kalniņš stressed that the Committee will continue to work during the recess because there are a number of outstanding issues to be dealt with regarding the Eastern Partnership, including the signing of EU Association Agreements with Georgia and Moldova, and concluding the remaining chapters of the Association Agreement with Ukraine.


Interview (in Latvian) with the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4Hi3HTOgwM
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Saeima Press Service

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