On 18-19 August 2020, Tallinn hosted a meeting of the State Secretaries of the Baltic and Nordic countries (NB8), where Latvia was represented by the Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Political Director Jānis Mažeiks.
In an exchange of views on developments in Belarus, the State Secretaries were in agreement that the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) should be involved to resolve the situation. The meeting continued with a discussion on Baltic-Nordic cooperation, including experience gained during the COVID-19 pandemic, and on the effectiveness of various formats of cooperation in the Baltic Sea region.
In the context of cooperation in international organisations, Estonia shared its observations concerning the work on the United Nations Security Council, while Jānis Mažeiks underlined the need to ensure continuity of representation of the NB8 countries on the council. Currently Estonia is an elected member of the UNSC, Norway has been elected for the 2021–2022 term, while Denmark is running for the 2024 election and Latvia for the 2025 election.
The State Secretaries also discussed the Eastern Partnership, climate and energy security matters. Toward the end of the meeting, Sweden presented the issues to be addressed by its upcoming OSCE presidency and Estonia set out its perspective on the Three Seas Initiative.
The NB8 format comprises Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden. In 2020, Estonia has the lead role in coordination of NB8 cooperation, having set the following priorities: regional security, including the Eastern Partnership and transatlantic relations; cooperation in the area of cybersecurity; connectivity including regional energy and transport projects; digital cooperation; climate change and environmental issues; and cultural and health cooperation.