On 28 September President Edgars Rinkēvičs paid a working visit to the capital of Finland, Helsinki, where he met with the President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö, Prime Minister Petteri Orpo and First Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Finland Paula Risikko.
During the meeting with the top officials of Finland, President Rinkēvičs discussed the deepening cooperation between the two countries, especially in the areas of security and economy in bilateral and multilateral formats. "Latvia and Finland share excellent bilateral relations, common understanding and interests in the security and prosperity of the region. Finland is among Latvia's most important trading partners, which is a good basis for further growth in bilateral trade and investment. I am glad that inter-parliamentary cooperation groups have been established in both the Latvian and Finnish parliaments," the President of Latvia emphasised during his visit.
During his working visit, E. Rinkēvičs expressed Latvia's interest in continuing cooperation with Finland in the bioeconomy, energy, information and communication technologies, digital, research and innovation, and tourism sectors. "We are open to further Finnish investments coming into Latvia," the President of Latvia emphasised. The parties also discussed cooperation between Finland and the Baltic States in the natural gas and electricity markets.
The issue of Russia's war against Ukraine was also raised. E. Rinkēvičs expressed the view that the effective implementation of sanctions against Russia, as well as the prevention of their circumvention, remained the top priority.
Speaking about the security of the region, President Rinkēvičs acknowledged that Finland's accession to NATO had significantly contributed to the security of the Baltic Sea region and the Alliance. The President expressed the hope that Sweden would also be admitted to NATO in the near future. At the same time, E. Rinkēvičs noted that the Nordic and Baltic countries should closely coordinate on regional security matters and the NATO agenda. The issue of Finland's possibility to join NATO's deterrence and defence initiatives in Latvia was also discussed.
E. Rinkēvičs informed Finnish officials that the instrumentalisation of Belarusian migration on the Latvian border, supported by Russia, continues to intensify. Political pressure on the regime of Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus, including a policy of sanctions, should therefore be maintained. Moreover, hybrid threats should be included in all NATO and national military and crisis exercises.
During his visit to Helsinki, President Rinkēvičs had an interview with a journalist from the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper.