Ministru prezidents

M. Kučinskis meets the Prime Ministers of the Baltic States and Ukraine

On Thursday 6 April, Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis participated in a meeting with Prime Minister of Estonia Jüri Ratas, Prime Minister of Lithuania Saulius Skvernelis, and Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman in Kiev.

The meeting in Kiev was held at the invitation of Prime Minister V. Groysman. This visit reaffirms the Baltic States' support to Ukraine at the time when it is trying to stabilize the situation in the region and promote sustainable peace in the country, as well as to implement economic reforms.

The Prime Minister pointed out that international solidarity and a common EU policy towards Ukraine should be maintained, given that a democratic and economically strong Ukraine is of common European interest. Ukraine is a strategic partner of Europe.

At the meeting, the officials highlighted the situation three years ago where Russia's illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula and aggression in eastern Ukraine changed the security situation in Europe. "Latvia, like the entire international community, condemns this step taken by Russia. We have always been in favour of Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty, and will continue to firmly support it," said M. Kučinskis.

With regard to the reform process in Ukraine, the officials pointed out that, despite the difficult conditions, Ukraine has made obvious progress in implementing the reforms in the last three years. "I would like to emphasize that it is important for Ukraine not to stop at the progress made, but to actively pursue the implementation of reforms to strengthen the democratic processes and improve the socio-economic situation in the country. Such an action would be the best way to ensure the international community's continued support for Ukraine's reform process," said M. Kučinskis. He praised Ukraine's capability to achieve economic growth, despite various difficulties.

It was also pointed out that it's been over a year since the conditions of the EU-Ukraine Free Trade Area were applied, and the positive effects on economic performance are already emerging. "It is essential to develop people-to-people contacts. In this context, the visa-free travel opportunity is important. Therefore, we strongly support the visa-free regime, and hope that already this summer the citizens of Ukraine will be eligible for visa-free travel to the Schengen countries," noted the Prime Minister.

Andrejs Vaivars
Press Secretary to the Prime Minister
Mob.: 29228678
E-mail: Andrejs.Vaivars@mk.gov.lv