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Zelenskyy arrives on a visit to Latvia: new aid package for Ukraine announced

Daria DurovaPolitics
Meeting between Volodymyr Zelenskyy and  Edgars Rinkēvičs
Meeting between Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Edgars Rinkēvičs

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.

The presidents listened to the Anthem of Ukraine.
Meeting with President Zelenskyy

Latvian Foreign Minister Krišjānis Kariņš 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.

Zelenskyy arrived in Riga by plane.
Zelenskyy arrives on a visit to Latvia: new aid package for Ukraine announced

After the talks, the two leaders held a joint press conference.

Rinkēvičs 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," Rinkēvičs added.

After the press conference, Zelenskyy is scheduled to meet with Latvian Saeima Speaker Daiga Mieriņa, and then with Prime Minister Evika Siliņa

Mārtiņš Drēģeris, 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," Aleksis Zoldners, a spokesman for the Latvian Prime Minister, said.

As reported, 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.

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