Dear friends of Ukraine here in the Riga Castle and all over Latvia,
Latvian people are strongly committed to support Ukraine in war waged by Russia, Russian invasion of Ukraine ordered by Putin against all laws. Russia’s crimes against Ukrainian people and humanity will be investigated and punished. Two international courts have already launched investigations and inquiries into these war crimes. Latvia continues to provide all kinds of support to Ukraine, helping politically, militarily and also with humanitarian aid. We are advocating for Ukraine on all international fora. Several days ago, I attended the NATO Madrid Summit and Ukraine was the main topic of this meeting. How can we, the West, help Ukraine? We adopted decisions and action plans that will facilitate this support even further.
We can proudly say that Latvia is, I think, first or second globally in terms of the amount of help it provides Ukraine. We have already channelled about 0.7% of our GDP into helping Ukraine. Estonians have allocated even more funding, we are next, followed by Lithuania, Poland and numerous other countries. Western countries have proportionally allocated less.
First Lady and I have invited you tonight to Riga Castle’s Festival Hall to personally thank you for your deep dedication to helping fellow Ukrainians. Every one of you here today in the Riga Castle’s Festival Hall and all over Latvia – companies, NGOs and individuals – has taken action to help Ukraine survive the war with less damage. Your noble conduct, the support you have provided, inspires Ukrainian soldiers, their family members who have been displaced and all those Ukrainians who are trying to survive the war in Ukraine.
Your support has probably helped a soldier defend himself against an enemy, somebody away from home has found things they need in items you donated, while others in Ukraine have received food, medical help and trauma therapy thanks to you.
People whom we are helping now will never return to the old life they were living before the 24 February. But it is also clear that our life will never be as it were before the 24 February.
I believe everyone who is helping Ukraine and its people will agree without hesitation – Ukraine belongs to Europe; it is a part of European family. Ukraine will not give up. We have no doubt Ukraine will prevail. Latvia and Latvians will do what we can to help Ukraine achieve victory.
Ukraine’s fight with Russian invaders continues and it is important to stress that every help we can offer will be greatly appreciated, it can really make a difference. Any little thing, big and small, can be decisive. We must continue pouring support. The fight for victory on the battle field and in humanitarian area will require some effort. We will fight alongside Ukraine. Latvia firmly believes in Ukraine’s victory.
Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!