Zelenskyy arrived on visit to Latvia: new aid package for Ukraine announced
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived in Latvia on Thursday evening, January 11. He was met in Riga by President Edgars Rinkēvičs, who later announced a new military aid package.
The official meeting ceremony at the Riga Castle, the residence of the Latvian president, was broadcast on the Ukrainian president's Facebook page. The politicians shook hands and listened to the anthems of Ukraine and Latvia performed by a military band.
Latvian Foreign Minister Krisjanis Karinšs showed Zelenskyy's arrival in Riga. The diplomat assured that his country steadfastly supports the Ukrainian struggle for freedom and independence.
"Glory to Ukraine!" he wrote on Twitter in Ukrainian.
After the talks, the two leaders held a joint press conference.
Rinkevich announced a new aid package for Kyiv. It includes howitzers, ammunition, anti-tank weapons, communications equipment, gear, and more.
The total amount of Latvian aid has already reached 1% of the country's GDP and exceeded 600 million euros.
The Latvian president reminded that the country has pledged to lead the Drone Coalition within the Ramstein format.
"Today we will also sign a memorandum of cooperation in the military sphere. We see an opportunity to produce drones, which are so necessary for the Ukrainian military. There will also be an intergovernmental agreement on assistance to Ukraine," Rinkiewicz added.
After the press conference, Zelenskyy is scheduled to meet with Latvian Saeima Speaker Daiga Mierina, and then with Prime Minister Evika Siliņa
Martins Dregeris, an adviser to Rinkēvičs, said the topics of the talks would include bilateral cooperation between the countries, further support for Kyiv in the fight against Russian aggression, and Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic integration.
"It is important that support was provided not only by the state and self-government, but also by society as a whole, both through active participation in various civic initiatives and donations," said Alexis Zoldners, a spokesman for the Latvian Prime Minister.
As OBOZ.UA wrote earlier:
- In 2023 (as of mid-December), Latvia sent 271 cars confiscated from drunk drivers to Ukraine. Their preliminary cost is 903,453 euros.
- On November 24, 2023, President Rinkēvičs of Latvia visited Kyiv. Together with Zelenskyy, they discussed the situation on the battlefield, the defense needs of the Ukrainian army, the need to strengthen air defense at the front, and Ukraine's accession to the European Union.