“I would like to thank Canada for its immeasurable contribution towards the security of Latvia and, as a result, the security of the entire Baltic Sea region. The people of Latvia acknowledge and highly appreciate the contribution of Canada and its every soldier. It ensures a strong presence of NATO troops. The implementation of the Madrid Summit decisions to increase NATO presence at the eastern flank of the Alliance is crucial for Latvia’s security,“ said Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, Deputy Speaker of the Saeima, on Monday, 13 March, during a meeting with George J. Furey, Speaker of the Senate of Canada.
Discussing Russia’s bloody war in Ukraine, Kalniņa-Lukaševica said that an ad hoc international tribunal, established upon a decision by the UN General Assembly, would ensure that Russia and its leaders are held accountable for the crimes of aggression against Ukraine. In addition, the parties discussed the development of a legally sound solution for redirecting Russia’s frozen assets towards the reconstruction of Ukraine.
“Our excellent bilateral political relations and the special bond developed through our cooperation in the framework of NATO provide opportunities for close economic cooperation, attracting investments, combatting disinformation, and defending a rules-based international order,” noted Kalniņa-Lukaševica.
The Deputy Speaker of the Saeima underlined the willingness of Latvia to pursue further cooperation with Canada in combatting disinformation bilaterally as well as within the frameworks of NATO and the European Union-Canada Dialogue. Kalniņa-Lukaševica noted that democratic countries should stand together against Russia’s attempts at using disinformation and propaganda to gain international support for its aggression against Ukraine.
“For a long time, Russia has been using disinformation in its own territory and beyond to justify its brutal aggression and create a sense of ambiguity. The fight takes place not only on the battlefield. The fight in the information space is just as active and vicious,” stated Kalniņa-Lukaševica.
While discussing economic cooperation opportunities, Latvian and Canadian parliamentarians agreed on the importance of critical infrastructure, including mobile networks and data centres, for security. The parties also considered opportunities for joint development and manufacture of high technology solutions and products. Latvian representatives highlighted Latvia’s success in developing 5G solutions and called on Canadian entrepreneurs to invest in the Latvian economy.
Antoņina Ņenaševa, Deputy Secretary of the Saeima; Jānis Dombrava, Chair of the National Security Committee; and Jānis Vucāns, Chair of the Mandate, Ethics and Submissions Committee, also participated in the discussion as representatives of the Saeima Group for promoting cooperation with the Parliament of Canada. Upon invitation by the Deputy Speaker of the Saeima, Jānis Sārts, Director of the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, also participated in the meeting.
The Speaker of the Senate of Canada is currently on an official visit to Latvia with his spouse and a delegation, which includes Canadian Senators Tony Dean, Robert Black, and Margaret Dawn Anderson.
Saeima Press Service