U.S. con­gress­man voices sup­port for Latvia’s se­cu­rity; says co­op­er­a­tion should con­tinue

Lat­vian For­eign Af­fairs Ministry’s state sec­re­tary An­drejs Pilde­gov­ics met with Chair­man of the House For­eign Af­fairs Com­mit­tee of the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Ed Royce on Thurs­day, 10 Au­gust. Dur­ing their meet­ing, the con­gress­man voiced strong suppo

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Pilde­gov­ics wel­comed the po­lit­i­cal sup­port pro­vided by the US Ad­min­is­tra­tion and Congress to Latvia and the en­tire Baltic re­gion. He said Latvia is thank­ful to USA for NATO’s his­tor­i­cal de­ci­sion in re­la­tion to the al­liance’s ex­pan­sion to Baltic States.

At the same time, Pilde­gov­ics says Latvia is fully pre­pared to con­trib­ute to se­cu­rity on its own by al­lo­cat­ing 2% of GDP to the de­fence bud­get in 2018 and con­tinue par­tic­i­pat­ing in mil­i­tary ex­er­cises.

US Con­gress­man Royce voiced strong sup­port for Latvia’s se­cu­rity.

He said the US Congress un­der­stands se­cu­rity chal­lenges Latvia and other coun­tries of the re­gion cur­rently face. The US Congress af­firmed its sup­port by ap­prov­ing the res­o­lu­tion re­gard­ing the im­por­tance of NATO Ar­ti­cle 5 and by ap­prov­ing the law on stricter sanc­tions against Rus­sia, Iran and North Korea. Royce also noted that he is pre­pared to as­sist with preven­tion of hy­brid threats for USA and Latvia.

Pilde­gov­ics in­vited US Congress and US Ad­min­is­tra­tion to con­tinue sup­port­ing the devel­op­ment of co­op­er­a­tion pro­gramme with Eastern Part­ner­ship and Cen­tral Asian re­gion coun­tries, be­cause Latvia and USA have formed suc­cess­ful co­op­er­a­tion in this area, which is im­por­tant to con­tinue.

Pilde­gov­ics and Royce also agreed on co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the Euro­pean Union and USA in se­cu­rity, eco­nom­ics and trad­ing.

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