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German Chancellor confirms strong support for strengthening Baltic security

The security of NATO allies is also our security and “an attack on the Baltics would be an attack on all of us”, which must not be allowed, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stressed at a press conference in Riga on Monday after talks between the heads of government of the Baltic States and Germany.

The German Chancellor assessed that the security situation on NATO’s eastern flank – the Baltics – remains tense, so it is important to show that allies continue to support the strengthening of security, including by deploying more military forces in the Baltic States. Scholz noted that 35,000 German rapid reaction troops would be ready to provide immediate support to their allies in an emergency.

Scholz reaffirmed Germany’s commitment to defend any NATO country “from the first centimeter” should such a threat arise. At the same time, the European Union must increase its own security and armaments production capacity for its own needs.

The German politician pointed out that Germany continues to support Ukraine in the fight against Russia, where Russia has miscalculated its capabilities in general, including the miscalculation that it will succeed in splitting NATO.

Germany and the Baltic States are committed to extending their support to Ukraine by increasing sanctions pressure on Russia and taking additional measures to prevent sanctions evasion, which is currently too lenient.

During Monday’s meeting, the Baltic Prime Ministers and the German Chancellor discussed ways to best support Ukraine. The German Chancellor underlined that Germany will provide Ukraine with one Patriot air defense system in addition to the two already provided. Scholz stressed that he would also call on partners to provide additional military assistance to Ukraine.

Scholz underlined that Germany is the largest supporter of Ukraine in Europe, with a total of almost EUR 28 billion in supplies and other forms of support to date.

Scholz reminded that Germany and the Baltic States have been partners for 20 years within the European Union (EU) and NATO, and that Germany also supports NATO’s eastern flank with troops in Lithuania and air control from Estonia and now Latvia.

Latvia’s Prime Minister Evika Silina said that the Baltic Prime ministers and the German Chancellor agreed during Monday’s talks that Ukraine should be given the kind of support that would ensure victory over Russia.

Silina stressed that the Baltic-German cooperation was important not only for Latvia, NATO and the EU, but also for Ukraine.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte also stressed that the security of the Baltic States depends directly on a Ukrainian victory.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas also said during the press conference that if we do not stop the aggressor – Russia – in Ukraine, it could attack other European countries.

“Ukraine’s membership of the European Union is a cornerstone of our security and a guarantee of our prosperity,” said Kallas, expressing hope that Ukraine and Moldova will move forward in further EU accession negotiations.

Kallas stressed that the upcoming NATO Summit in Washington should also give a clear signal that support for Ukraine will continue.

Europe’s readiness to defend itself also needs to be worked on. Kallas stressed the need to be prepared for confrontation, to continue to increase defense spending and to find operational solutions to do more together in the EU.

Silina added that the most important thing in the run-up to the NATO Summit in Washington is to continue working on the full implementation of regional defense plans, to strengthen the military industry and to bring Ukraine closer to NATO membership.

The Prime Minister highlighted in particular the German initiative to form a coalition of countries to ensure the protection of Ukraine’s airspace. Latvia continues to work within the drone coalition to provide drones to Ukraine and is providing a total of 0.25 percent of gross domestic product in military support to Ukraine this year and in the years to come.

The talks also focused on key issues on the EU’s agenda, including moving forward with the 14th package of sanctions against Russia, as well as how to use the profits from Russia’s frozen assets for Ukraine. Latvia also supports the introduction of new instruments to finance the EU defense industry.

In the context of EU enlargement, the Prime Minister stressed the need to confirm the framework for negotiations between Ukraine and Moldova by holding an intergovernmental conference by the end of June. On the issues to be addressed in the EU, the Prime Minister highlighted security, connectivity, strengthening the EU’s external borders and economic competitiveness. The leaders also discussed close cooperation on regional energy and transport projects.

Silina stressed that the agenda proposed by the parties was similar, focusing on security, connectivity, external borders and economic competitiveness.

“We remain united in our values, interests and actions. We have a close and productive partnership. This is important not only for our region and for the EU and NATO, but also for Ukraine to defeat Russian aggression,” said the Latvian Prime Minister. She also highlighted Germany’s positive contribution to Latvia’s security by providing NATO air patrols in the Baltic States from the Lielvarde Air Base.

“During the talks, we agreed on the need to continue to provide support to Ukraine to help it defeat Russian aggression. We are pleased with Germany’s leadership and the Baltic countries’ contribution to this goal. Germany is a strategic partner of the Baltic States in both economic and security terms, and this meeting only confirms this,” said Silina.

On Monday, the Heads of Government of the Baltic States, Evika Silina (New Unity), Kaja Kallas and Ingrida Simonyte, met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Riga. The talks focused on security and defense issues, topical issues on the EU agenda, support for Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression, as well as economic cooperation and the development of regional projects in the fields of energy and transport.

The State Chancellery notes that the “3+1 format” has become a tradition where Baltic leaders discuss topical issues with the German Chancellor. The aim of the meetings is not only to strengthen cooperation between the Baltic States and Germany, but also to coordinate joint action to tackle major international challenges.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)


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