Foreign Minister underlines close cooperation between the Baltic States in countering the COVID-19 pandemic
On 6 November 2020, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, took part in the annual Baltic Council in Tallinn.
In his remarks to the delegates of the Baltic Council, the Minister thanked them for current cooperation to date and decisive action in addressing issues important for the Baltic States. Public health is our main priority and further close cooperation between the Baltic States is vital to ensure the protection of public health, Edgars Rinkēvičs underlined. The Minister noted that at the outset of the COVID-19 crisis, when many countries introduced travel restrictions, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania engaged in joint efforts to ensure that it was possible for their nationals to return home.
Foreign Minister Rinkēvičs expressed satisfaction with the strengthening of the Baltic region’s security and defence and the development of the energy market and transport infrastructure regardless of challenges posed by the pandemic. The regional gas market has begun functioning and the project of synchronisation of power networks is being implemented without any delays, Edgars Rinkēvičs underlined.
The Latvian Foreign Minister drew attention to the vital role of Rail Baltica in the post-crisis economic recovery, passenger mobility, supply chain management, as well as the process of digitalisation and innovation promotion in line with the European Green Deal.
In a meeting with the Foreign Minister of Estonia, Urmas Reinsalu, and the Foreign Minister of Lithuania, Linas Linkevičius, further cooperation during the COVID-19 crisis, developments in Belarus, and the United States presidential election were discussed. Foreign Minister Linkevičius presented the Lithuanian presidency’s priorities for cooperation between the Baltic States next year.
The Baltic Council meets annually and brings together Baltic States parliamentarians and Foreign Ministers. The Baltic Council is a valuable cooperation platform and an effective platform for discussions between the representatives of the Baltic States parliaments and governments.
On 1 January 2021, Lithuania will take over from Estonia the presidency in the Baltic States cooperation. In 2022, the presidency will be assumed by Latvia.
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