Pilde­gov­ics asks USA to main­tain mil­i­tary pres­ence in Latvia

Baltic News Network - - Front Page -

«Latvia is pre­pared to in­vest in the strength­en­ing of its se­cu­rity by se­cur­ing de­fence bud­get in­crease to 2% of GDP in 2018,» said Lat­vian For­eign Af­fairs Min­istry’s sec­re­tary An­drejs Pilde­gov­ics.

On Tues­day, 1 Au­gust, Pilde­gov­ics met with a delegation led by US Con­gress­man Joe Wil­son to dis­cuss strate­gic part­ner­ship be­tween Latvia and USA in se­cu­rity, de­fence, Trans-At­lantic re­la­tions and re­gional se­cu­rity.

BNN was in­formed by For­eign Af­fairs Min­istry that Pilde­gov­ics men­tioned dur­ing the dis­cus­sion that he sup­ports the role of US Ad­min­is­tra­tion and Congress for Latvia’s se­cu­rity in­ter­ests and in­vited USA to main­tain its mil­i­tary pres­ence in Latvia.

The min­istry also says US con­gress­men af­firmed their strong sup­port for Latvia’s se­cu­rity. The same thing was said by US Vice-Pres­i­dent Mike Pence dur­ing his meet­ing with pres­i­dents of Latvia, Lithua­nia and Es­to­nia on Mon­day, 31 July.

«US con­gress­men ap­proved of what Latvia has done to develop. They said Latvia’s ac­com­plish­ments are an ex­am­ple to other coun­tries that are only be­gin­ning their re­forms. Pilde­gov­ics in­vited the US Congress to con­tinue sup­port­ing de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes associated with Eastern Part­ner­ship and Cen­tral Asian mem­ber states. Latvia is in­ter­ested in con­tin­u­ing suc­cess­ful co­op­er­a­tion with USA,» For­eign Af­fairs Min­istry states.

Of­fi­cials par­tic­i­pat­ing in the meet­ing also dis­cussed co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Latvia and USA in pre­vent­ing hy­brid threats, as well as eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion and ac­ti­va­tion of trade con­tacts.

Saeima press-ser­vice also re­ports that Inara Murniece had also em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of sup­port from USA for the se­cu­rity in the Baltic re­gion.

«The United States of Amer­ica are our strate­gic part­ner, and its con­tin­ued sup­port of se­cu­rity in the Baltic re­gion is de­ci­sive,» Murniece said.

Edijs Pālens/LETA

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