Baltic States – CIS, Belarus, Latvia, Transport

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Monday, 26.08.2019, 04:03

Lukashenko might visit Latvia in foreseeable future

BC, Riga, 19.07.2018.Print version
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko might make a visit to Latvia in a foreseeable future, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (Unity) said today following a meeting with Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei, citing LETA.

Rinkevics said that he had confirmed Latvia’s invitation to Lukashenko and interest in the Belarusian president’s visit to Latvia, noting that usually it takes some time to prepare such visits. Before this potential visit, the Latvia-Belarus intergovernmental commission is planning to meet in Riga to discuss practical economic cooperation issues. “If properly prepared, such a visit is possible in a foreseeable future,” Rinkevics said, voicing satisfaction about Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis’ visit to Minsk at the beginning of this year.

Commenting on Lukashenko’s possible visit to Latvia, the Belarusian foreign minister said that such visits always provide a new impulse to bilateral ties and that Belarus in interested in Lukashenko’s visit to Latvia. Makei added that it takes time to prepare for the next series of top-level exchange visits and added that such a visit would not be an end in itself as its result would be the most important thing.

During their meeting, the Latvian and Belarusian ministers discussed bilateral relations, the situation in the region, security aspects, EU-Belarus relations, as well as issues concerning Latvian-Belarusian economic and trade cooperation. “I am very satisfied with our bilateral relations. In my opinion, they are very active, and we do not avoid discussions on any issues, including those on which we disagree,” said Rinkevics.

The Latvian minister noted that trade volumes between the two countries continue to grow but that a lot still can be done to boost them even more. Rinkevics also praised cooperation between Latvia and Belarus on military security issues. Both sides agreed on the necessity to step up highest-level contacts between the two countries’ law enforcement, border guard and home affairs systems.

Rinkevics stressed that Latvian ports are open to Belarusian entrepreneurs and urged them to do business in Latvia as an EU member state. “To increase the efficiency of its transit corridor, Latvia has started the electrification of its rail network in the East-West Transport Corridor. I am calling on Belarus to also consider railway electrification in Belarusian territory,” said Rinkevics.

Makei, for his part, noted that it is an honor to him to visit Latvia on its centenary and agreed that his talks with Rinkevics had been very productive on all issues, including political and economic matters. Thanks to the open discussions both sides are now better prepared to work together also on sensitive issues.

“I am thankful to Latvia for its pragmatic and constructive approach to relations with Belarus. We talked about our mutual interest in developing our bilateral relations. We also discussed sensitive issues and opinions, as well as regional aspects. We have no disagreements in our bilateral relations, and as far as foreign relations are concerned, we have the same position on most of issues,” Makei said.

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