Speaker Mieriņa in Finland: Our common goal – security in the Baltic region

(16.02.2024.)
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Today, our common priority is security in the Baltic Sea region. We highly appreciate what we have already done together, and what Finland has done for our common security, said Daiga Mieriņa, Speaker of the Saeima, on Friday, 16 February, meeting with the Speaker of the Finnish Parliament Jussi Halla-Aho in Helsinki, Finland.

Both speakers noted that the suspension of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine is a joint task. “Europe’s security is impossible without Ukraine’s victory, Russia’s containment and greater investment in our own security,” said Speaker Mieriņa.

Speaker Hallaaho stressed that there was a consensus in the Finnish Parliament on foreign and security issues. Ukraine must be supported in the fight against Russia’s aggression until Ukraine’s victory. The Speaker of the Finnish Parliament also thanked Latvia for supporting the country’s path to NATO.

Both Latvia and Finland know well and have suffered a lot from their eastern neighbour. We know what we can expect. Our common voice in Europe must be louder, calling for much more decisive and quicker action, Speaker Mieriņa said to her Finnish colleagues.

Speaker Mieriņa highlighted the Baltic-Nordic NB8 format as an important platform for regional cooperation. “Here, too, we have common issues – both the security of the Baltic Sea and the fight against hybrid threats,” the Speaker of the Saeima said. This year Latvia is coordinating the NB8 parliamentary cooperation, and the speakers of the member states will meet in Riga this August.

When discussing the strengthening of the resilience of society and civil protection, Speaker Mieriņa noted Latvia’s interest in learning from the experience accumulated in Finland over decades. The delegation of the Saeima visited the Merihak Civil Protection Reception in Helsinki.

Speaker Mieriņa emphasised that Latvia has invested a lot in support for Ukraine and is also strengthening its defence. This year we plan on reaching 2.4% of our GDP  in allocations for strengthening the country’s defence capabilities, but by 2027 it will be 3%. We are also creating a new military training area in Sēlija in order to expand opportunities for hosting allied forces in Latvia, the Speaker of the Saeima said.

Parliamentarians discussed the hybrid threats posed by Russia that both countries are facing. In the context of security, it is important to remember the flow of migrants from Russia and Belarus, which has lessened for the time being, but in the long term this hybrid war could continue, the Speaker of the Saeima noted.

The Speaker of the Saeima arrived in Helsinki at the invitation of the Speaker of the Finnish Parliament. Speaker Mieriņa is accompanied by Raimonds Bergmanis, Chair of the Defence, Home Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee of the Saeima, and Leila Rasima, Chair of the Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee of the Saeima.

 

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Saeima Press Service

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