Speaker of the Saeima to Prime Minister of Ukraine: EU accession talks with Ukraine must start already in June


Ukraine can count on Latvia’s unwavering support at all levels, including on the issue of Ukraine’s requisite accession to the European Union (EU). We are actively working with our EU colleagues to ensure that accession negotiations would start already in June this year, said Daiga Mieriņa, Speaker of the Saeima, on Thursday, 4 April, meeting with Denys Shmyhal, Prime Minister of Ukraine, at the Latvian parliament. The Speaker also informed that the Saeima would develop a knowledge transfer and training programme for the Ukrainian parliament administration to help promote Ukraine’s integration in the EU. 

Reaffirming Latvia’s full, sustained support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and fight against Russia’s aggression, Mieriņa was confident that Russia would lose and Ukraine would prevail over the evil. Prime Minister Shmyhal thanked for the support and underlined that we must work closely together to defend our countries.

Edvards Smiltēns, Secretary of the Saeima, and Jānis Grasbergs, Deputy Secretary of the Saeima, also participated in the meeting with the Ukrainian Prime Minister.

Denys Shmyhal thanked Latvia for its leadership in supporting Ukraine and emphasised that we are a positive example for other countries. Shmyhal stressed in particular the drone coalition led by Latvia and noted that Latvian-made drones have already been tested at the front and proven to be highly effective. Military support will remain of paramount importance for Ukraine, and soldiers at the front specifically emphasise the need for more weapons. The Speaker of the Saeima confirmed that Latvia needs a swift advance in military industrial capacity, both for strengthening our own security and for boosting support for Ukraine’s freedom fighters. To this end, the Ministry of Economics could offer new aid programmes for producers of drones and other military goods.

Speaker Mieriņa noted that the Latvian parliament keeps looking for new opportunities to support Ukraine, highlighting the recent decision to raise taxes on real estate owned by sanctioned persons and channelling the additional tax revenue for Ukraine’s support. “This amounts to about 1.5 million additional euros for Ukraine each year,” said the Speaker, sharing her hope that Latvia’s decision would inspire other countries to follow suit.

Moreover, to raise awareness and strengthen support for Ukraine at an international level, the Saeima in close cooperation with the Ukrainian parliament will host the Parliamentary Summit of the Crimea Platform this autumn in Riga.

Members of the Saeima also drew attention to the parliament’s decision on measures to terminate Latvia’s economic cooperation with the aggressor states Russia and Belarus. The resolution underscores the need to include manganese ore in the EU’s list of sanctioned goods to prevent its import into Russia to be used by the military industry.

Another important topic of conversation was the ban on importing agricultural products and animal feed from aggressor states to Latvia. Notably, this opens up wider export opportunities for Ukrainian goods, provided that they can be efficiently transported from Ukraine’s ports to Latvia.

Regarding transport infrastructure, Prime Minister Shmyhal accentuated Ukraine’s willingness to participate in the high-speed rail project Rail Baltica to achieve broader connectivity.

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/saeima/albums/72177720315964596
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Saeima Press Service

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