President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with President of the Republic of Latvia Egils Levits in Lviv.
The two heads of state signed a Joint Declaration confirming Latvia's support for Ukraine's full European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
"It’s only with Ukraine in its composition that the European project will become truly complete. It’s only with Ukraine in its composition that NATO will become a truly strong defender of the European nations and all our common values. By fighting for its freedom and a free Europe, Ukraine has united the European Union in an unprecedented way. Our invincibility during more than a year of this full-scale war proves beyond doubt that Ukraine's contribution to the common Euro-Atlantic security will be truly unique," the President emphasized during the meeting with media representatives following the negotiations with Egils Levits.
The Head of State thanked his Latvian counterpart and the entire people of Latvia for their unwavering support for Ukraine in its struggle for territorial integrity and on the path of integration into the European Union and NATO.
The parties also discussed ways to strengthen the Ukrainian army, which should speed up the liberation of Ukrainian land from Russian occupiers. The Ukrainian side handed over a document on top-priority defense needs.
"Even before the full-scale Russian invasion, Latvia began to help Ukraine by providing armed assistance, including Stingers. This was the right signal to the entire European community and concrete and effective assistance to our defense. Throughout the year, Latvian defense support remained tangible. I am very grateful to you, the government, and society for this," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, addressing Egils Levits.
In addition, according to the Head of State, today the President of Latvia, along with other high-ranking guests, will take part in the first United for Justice special conference.
"As an experienced lawyer, as a person who is well versed in the work of European institutions and global structures, Mr. President Levits personally and the Republic of Latvia in general, I am sure, will strongly help us, Ukraine, in bringing to justice all Russian murderers, terrorists and torturers," Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized.
According to him, today's talks focused on the establishment of a Special Tribunal for the crime of aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine and preparation of a vote in the UN General Assembly on the relevant resolution, as well as cooperation with the International Criminal Court and legal institutions of the European community.
The interlocutors also discussed the continuation of sanctions pressure on Russia as one of the important aspects of the aggressor's responsibility for the war.
"Latvia has recognized Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, and this recognition is the basis of Latvia's principled support for joint European sanctions. Today we discussed how to further increase pressure on Russia," Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated.
According to him, the agenda of today's bilateral work also includes discussing Latvia's participation in the reconstruction of Ukraine, in particular the Chernihiv region, and demining.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Egils Levits and his country for supporting the Ukrainian Peace Formula and readiness to join the implementation of its specific points.
"Mr. President, thank you for your visit, the visit of your team, the First Lady of Latvia, for your great support, for the fact that we have true partners and friends," the Head of State said.
For his part, Egils Levits noted that this is his third visit to Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion, which demonstrates Latvia's full support for our country.
"We will provide help for as long as it takes. After all, you are fighting for our freedom and our values too," he emphasized.
The Latvian President is convinced that Ukraine must win the war. According to him, the leaders of the EU and NATO member states share the same opinion.
Egils Levits said that he has discussed with Volodymyr Zelenskyy political support for Ukraine, in particular at the level of the European Union, the North Atlantic Alliance, the United Nations and other international platforms.
He added that Latvia helps Ukraine implement the reforms necessary for European integration. Ukraine has every right to join security alliances, including NATO, Egils Levits said.
The President of Latvia also noted that providing military support to Ukraine is a priority for his country.
"We continue to work on the supply of various military equipment. We are also convincing our allies to deliver what they have promised as soon as possible. In addition, we are training Ukrainian servicemen as part of the EU training mission," said Egils Levits.
According to him, as part of its humanitarian aid, Latvia provides psychosocial support to Ukrainian women, and donates generators and transformers to help Ukraine's energy system, which has been damaged by Russian missile attacks. Latvia will also contribute to the reconstruction of the Chernihiv region.
The President of Latvia emphasized that his country is working with Ukraine to establish a Special Tribunal for the crime of aggression by the Russian Federation and stands for introducing legal grounds for using frozen Russian assets to rebuild Ukraine as reparations.
Egils Levits said that Latvia supports Volodymyr Zelenskyy's Peace Formula, the implementation of which will guarantee a lasting peace based on international law and providing for the territorial integrity of Ukraine within the 1991 borders.
"I would like to emphasize that it is only Ukraine that can talk about peace that is acceptable to it," the President of Latvia said.