“We, the speakers of the Latvian, Lithuanian, and Polish parliaments, are on a symbolic visit to the United States Congress to demonstrate our commitment to resolving security issues together. We are grateful to the USA for its firm support to the Baltic States and Poland for thirty years since the restoration of our independence. The USA has a crucial role in our region. We invite the US Congress to explore the possibility of providing long-term support for the security of our region,” stressed Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, on Tuesday, 3 March, in Washington, DC, during the meeting of the speakers of Baltic and Polish parliaments with Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives.
“We highly appreciate the contribution of the US Congress to strengthening military infrastructure in the Baltic States,” stated Mūrniece, emphasising that, due to resolutions passed by the US Congress on supporting transatlantic partnership and NATO, the Baltic people can feel safer.
Nancy Pelosi expressed her appreciation for the joint visit of parliamentarians from four countries to the US Congress as evidence of joint commitment to security in the region. The Speaker of the House of Representatives underlined the importance of transatlantic relations and political cooperation of NATO and the EU.
While discussing Baltic contribution to the security of the region and NATO as a whole, the Speaker of the Saeima affirmed the strong commitment of the Baltic parliaments to dedicating at least two percent of GDP to defence. “Thirty years after the restoration of independence, security is no longer just something we receive. We also provide security to others by participating in international missions and assisting our neighbours in the east. The security of the eastern border of NATO is our responsibility,” noted Mūrniece.
The Speaker of the Saeima admitted the complexity of the security situation in the Baltic region due to Russia's consistent building of its military capacity, which exceeds legitimate requirements for defence. Participants of the meeting highlighted cybersecurity risks and combating disinformation as important challenges. “The NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence in Riga has extensive competence in tackling disinformation. The USA provides vital support to the functioning of the Centre,” said Mūrniece.
Ojārs Ēriks Kalniņš, Deputy Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima; Viktoras Pranckietis, Speaker of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania; Elżbieta Witek, Marshall of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland; Andres Sutt, Chair of the Estonia-USA parliamentary group; and Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, Deputy Chair of the same group also met with Nancy Pelosi in the US Congress.
The Speaker of the Saeima is on a working visit to the USA from 29 February to 6 March.
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Saeima Press Service