German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is on a multi-day visit to the Baltic countries and met the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian ministers in Riga. She will visit Estonia today and Lithuania on Friday.
“We reiterate our call on Russia to immediately cease its aggression, withdraw its troops from all territory of Ukraine and fully comply with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, and respect the rights We reaffirm our unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders,” the ministers said in a joint statement.
They also welcomed the ICC’s investigation into alleged war crimes and said all perpetrators must be brought to justice.
Ministers condemned Russia’s suppression of freedom of expression, crackdown on peaceful protesters and called for the immediate release of Russian human rights defenders and peace activists, such as Vladimir Kara-Murza.
Baerbock: We have a lot to learn from the Baltic countries in terms of defense
Before leaving on the trip, Baerbock told German media that the country has a lot to learn from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania when it comes to defence.
Baerbock said the Baltic countries have been monitoring events in Russia with great attention and concern for years and have drawn the necessary conclusions. She listed, alongside defense contributions, investments in energy security, IT infrastructure and media resilience in the face of hostile propaganda.
“I want to listen carefully to their experience and their point of view,” Baerbock told German media before leaving for the visit.
Baerbock: You have to be visible on the pitch
The minister also stressed that it is safe to visit the Baltic countries and walked around the old town of Riga to prove it to the German public.
Last week, ERR reported that German tour operators had cut the region from its packages.
Speaking at the press conference, the German minister said: “We don’t have time for sightseeing, as it’s not on the agenda of the Foreign Office, but we will at least a short stroll through the heart of the old part of town.
“Let me be very clear now. Safety is always about trust. You have to be visible on the pitch. I am speaking to the German listeners, to the German public, and I hope there are many of them here The Baltic States are a beautiful place where you can spend your holidays during Pentecost, in the summer season it is always an interesting visit.”
The ministers’ press conference can be viewed below.
Foreign ministers @eliimets , @edgarsrinkevics , @GLandsbergis & @ABaerbock will meet in Riga to discuss Russia’s war in #Ukrainenew sanctions against Russia and Belarus, #Rule of lawWestern Balkans and #EU– Relations with China.
⬇️Press conference: https://t.co/uE2aZc8mDd
— Estonian MAE | #StandWithUkraine (@MFAestonia) April 20, 2022
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