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Opinions & Interviews

14 Nov 2018

Opinion: Belarus, Latvia have good basis for effective cooperation

Opinion: Belarus, Latvia have good basis for effective cooperation

MINSK, 14 November (BelTA) – Belarus and Latvia have developed a good basis to ensure effective cooperation, Belarus’ Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Oleg Kravchenko said at a function held at the House of Friendship on 14 November to mark 100 years of Latvia’s independence, BelTA has learned.

"In the historical meaning, 100 years is not a very long period. However, during this time, which was very difficult sometimes, Latvia has become a sovereign independent state with a strong economy that takes its rightful place in the international arena today. Latvia is a very important partner of Belarus. Geographical proximity, shared history, culture, and traditions make up a strong foundation for the development of truly good-neighborly, mutually beneficial and partner relations,” the deputy minister said.

Over 25 years of diplomatic relations Belarus and Latvia have set up traditions of cooperation based on the principles of mutual respect and trust. “The bilateral cooperation have already resulted in many jointly implemented projects, forums, visits, meetings, official and working contacts. After the exchange of visits by the government leaders in 2016 and 2018, bilateral relations reached a new level,” the deputy minister stressed.

He also took note of Latvia’s constructive role in the development of Belarus’ dialogue with the European Union.

Oleg Kravchenko drew attention to the historical cultural ties between the peoples of the two countries. “The friendship of the national geniuses Janis Rainis and Yanka Kupala is a clear evidence of the spiritual closeness of our peoples, an example that reflects the close nature of the Belarusian-Latvian relations,” the deputy minister said. Thanks to the efforts of Janis Rainis, who held high government positions, Belarusian schools were opened in Latvia, including the Belarusian gymnasium in Daugavpils, which was the center of education for Latvian Belarusians.

“If we stay committed to the traditions of good-neighborliness and partnership, meet each other halfway on issues important for the two states, we will be able to achieve even greater success in bilateral relations,” Oleg Kravchenko emphasized.

Latvian Ambassador to Belarus Martins Virsis spoke about the importance of the anniversary of Latvia’s independence and the country's achievements over the period. Former President of Latvia Guntis Ulmanis, who was present at the evening, touched upon the historical milestones of the development of his state and expressed kind words to the Belarusian people. “I love Belarus. Belarusians are courageous and reliable people,” he stressed. About 90,000 Belarusians live in Latvia, more than 30,000 of whom are Latvian citizens.

Performing at the event were Riga saxophone players. Taking part in the meeting were representatives of the Belarusian friendship society of friendship and the Belarus-Latvia Society of Friendship, students of Minsk schools and gymnasia.

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