On 3-4 September, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs took part in the Nordic and Baltic (NB8) Foreign Ministers Meeting in Vilnius, writes mfa.gov.lv. The aim of the event was to discuss international agenda, forge closer cooperation between Baltic and Nordic countries, as well as looking back at what has been accomplished and jointly planning next year’s activities within this format.
As Minister Rinkēvičs assessed Baltic and Nordic cooperation, he highlighted the best examples of cooperation: the training of civilian experts for participation in the EU missions, mutual coordination of positions within international formats, deploying diplomatic staff in the embassies of other NB8 countries. Cooperation should be further strengthened in UN, NATO and EU operations and missions, seeking effective forms of partnership. The minister also indicated that cooperation in the field of energy would be one of the most vital issues in the coming years.
While speaking about cooperation within international organisations, Foreign Minister Rinkēvičs called on Baltic and Nordic foreign ministers to support Latvia’s membership in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). “The experience Latvia has gathered in the reform process and the rapid economic growth of the country is unique, and Latvia is ready to share its experience and contribute to the OECD work. By joining the OECD, Latvia would become a more attractive environment for investments and have easier access to credit markets for financing economically significant projects,” the minister noted.
The foreign ministers also focused their attention on the developments in the Middle East and on important EU-related issues, in particular, cooperation with Eastern Partnership countries and the topicalities of the Eurozone.
During the event, a brief meeting took place between the NB8 ministers and the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė.
NB8 meetings that bring together officials form the Baltic states, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland is a regular format for cooperation in order to exchange political opinions and carry out practical projects in a number of areas. Latvia regards this cooperation as a important platform for addressing not only regional, but also EU-related and international matters.