Thursday June 20, 2024

Finnish, Latvian PMs discuss border security in Riga

Published : 25 May 2024, 02:51

  DF Report
Prime Minister Petteri Orpo met with Prime Minister of Latvia Evika Silina in Riga on Friday. Photo: Finnish government by Anne Sjöholm.

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo and his Latvian counterpart Evika Siliņa met in Riga on Friday and discussed various bilateral and European issues, including border security and defence, said a government press release.

“A hybrid attack at Finland’s eastern border is an attack on the security of the EU as a whole. Border security is a key aspect of the EU’s comprehensive security,” said Orpo at the joint press conference after the meeting.

The prime ministers also highlighted the importance of support for Ukraine.

“Our countries are strong supporters of Ukraine. Ukraine urgently needs more weapons. Russia is and will continue to be a significant threat to European security. Russia has prepared for a long war. Russia must not win this war. For this reason, we must strengthen the European defence industry and ramp up ammunition production – and that is precisely what we are doing here today,” the Premier said.

After the press conference, the prime ministers took part in the opening of the new Patria production facility in the city of Valmiera.

“The Valmiera production facility is part of the CAVS project, which aims to enhance Europe’s security and defence capacity. The project supports NATO and the EU’s plan to increase members’ defence cooperation and defence industry cooperation through high-quality, cost-effective joint projects,” he said.

The Finland-led joint CAVS project aims to develop the armoured 6x6 vehicle system to suit the needs of several European countries. The project is based on the Patria 6x6 armoured vehicle.

“Finland and Latvia initiated this successful project to strengthen the links between our countries. Having Germany and Sweden on board has opened up up opportunities for cooperation, joint exercises and crisis management operations between the Nordic and Baltic countries. It has also simplified logistics and improved security of supply,” Orpo added.

At the end of the visit, Prime Ministers Orpo and Siliņa attended the opening of an exhibit on Finnish Jaegers at the Valmiera Public Library.

Curated by the National Archive of Latvia, the exhibit focuses on Finnish Jaegers and their time in Latvia. It was in Latvia that the Finnish Jaegers took their oath of allegiance to independent Finland.