On 16 January 2012, at the invitation of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia Mr. Edgars Rinkēvičs, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Mr. Kostyantyn Gryshchenko paid a working visit to the Republic of Latvia. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Mr. Kostyantyn Gryshchenko was also received by President of the Republic of Latvia Mr. Andris Bērziņš and had a meeting with Speaker of the Saeima of the Republic of Latvia Mrs. Solvita Āboltiņa.
The Ministers discussed a wide range of issues regarding bilateral relations, regional cooperation, cooperation in the framework of international organizations, exchanged their views on the processes of global and regional significance.
The Ministers noted with satisfaction the steady development of the bilateral relations, where active political dialogue plays an important role. In this context, both Sides stressed the importance of implementation of the agreements reached during the official visit of President of Ukraine Mr. Viktor Yanukovych to the Republic of Latvia on 15 December 2010. The Ministers also acknowledged the importance of expanding contacts on the level of governments, parliaments and non-governmental organizations of both States. In this context the Sides discussed the agenda of high-level visits.
The Ministers paid special attention to the issues of the European integration of Ukraine. The Sides welcomed the finalization of negotiations on the text of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine at the 15th EU - Ukraine Summit, held in Kyiv on 19 December 2011, which opened the way to its initialing and further signature.
The Latvian Side reiterated its continuous support to the European aspirations of Ukraine. It expressed its readiness to provide further assistance to Ukraine in the conclusion of the Association Agreement which would constitute a new stage in the development of EU - Ukraine contractual relations. The Ministers recalled that the Association Agreement envisages shared commitment to the common values, especially, full respect for democratic principles and the rule of law, which will be of crucial importance for the speed of Ukraine’s political association and economic integration with the EU.
The Latvian Side confirmed its readiness to assist Ukraine in the fulfillment of the EU-Ukraine Association Agenda. It also assured of its continuous support in implementation of the EU - Ukraine Action Plan on Visa Liberalization with a view to establishing a visa-free travel regime for citizens of Ukraine when conditions for well managed and secure mobility set out in the Action Plan are in place.
Both Sides agreed to hold further consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia and Ukraine on the issues of European integration of Ukraine, as defined in the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Concerning Cooperation in the Field of European Integration of 15 December 2010.
It was agreed to pay more attention to the deepening trade and economic cooperation including investments. Both Sides highly commended the positive trends in bilateral trade relations. The Ministers were unanimous in the opinion that the Latvia -Ukraine Intergovernmental Commission on Economic, Industrial, Scientific and Technical Cooperation is a reliable tool for the further development of economic ties. The necessity to hold the next Intergovernmental Commission’s session in 2012 was stressed.
The Ministers stressed the interest to expand cooperation in the field of transit and logistics, especially promotion of further development of the container train „Zubr” project.
The Ministers praised with satisfaction the leading role of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in the development of architecture of European security, in prevention and settlement of regional conflicts. Both Sides underlined the importance of active exchange of views in the context of preparation and during future chairmanship of Ukraine in the OSCE in 2013.
The Republic of Latvia and Ukraine highly appreciated and stressed the importance of cooperation between the two states in the framework of international organizations. Ukraine expressed gratitude to the Republic of Latvia for the support of Ukraine’s candidature for a non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council at the elections in 2015. The Republic of Latvia informed about its candidature to the UN Security Council at the elections to be held in 2025.
The Sides confirmed their readiness to coordinate and integrate their efforts within the Council of the Baltic Sea States in the priority areas of civil security, economic development, energy, and human dimension, including trafficking in human beings.
The Ministers agreed that ethnic, cultural, language and religious identity of persons of Latvian origin living in Ukraine and persons of Ukrainian origin living in the Republic of Latvia needs permanent attention and is in the interest of both States. Ukraine highly appreciated the concern of the Republic of Latvia in ensuring the successful work of the Riga Ukrainian Secondary School, i.e., the implementation of the School renovation project.
The Ministers acknowledged the importance of the cultural, art, educational, information, sports and youth exchanges and agreed to encourage their comprehensive development.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Mr. Kostyantyn Gryshchenko invited the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia Mr. Edgars Rinkēvičs to pay an official visit to Ukraine. The invitation was accepted with gratitude.
Riga, 16 January 2012