Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a meeting with President of the Republic of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs, who is visiting our country.
The Head of State thanked the President of Latvia for visiting the village of Yahidne in Chernihiv region, where Russian occupiers held Ukrainian prisoners in inhumane conditions for almost a month.
"This is just one of the few examples of Russian terror against Ukrainians, but this example is so eloquent in its cruelty that it is absolutely clear what modern Russia has become. We must win here in Ukraine, otherwise this evil of aggression may come to the cities and villages of other nations, especially Russia's neighbors," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during a meeting with representatives of the media following the talks with Edgars Rinkēvičs in Kyiv.
The President of Ukraine expressed confidence that our country, together with its partners, has enough strength to stop the anti-European Russian aggression. He noted that Latvia has been assisting Ukraine from the first hours of the full-scale invasion by Russia.
The Head of State informed the Latvian leader about the situation on the battlefield and Ukraine's defense needs.
"We are grateful for all the support Latvia has provided to our country. In particular, for the recent decision on the next package, which includes rounds, mortars, and other military equipment. We discussed how to make the supply and production of the necessary ammunition and weapons for our defense sustainable. I also turned to Mr. President regarding the possibility of supporting Ukraine with armored vehicles for evacuating our wounded soldiers from the battlefield," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The presidents discussed the possibilities of strengthening Ukrainian air defense, particularly on the front lines and in the coastal areas of the Black Sea.
The Head of State thanked Latvia for its support of the sanction policy against Russia.
He also expressed gratitude to all of Ukraine's partners seeking fair legal solutions to ensure that the assets of the aggressor are directed towards those affected by Russian aggression. The President emphasized that the aggressor's funds should contribute to the restoration of Ukraine after the hostilities, and our country will be grateful to Latvia for the relevant support.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy highlighted the importance of cooperation between Ukraine and Latvia in the energy sector, as well as in the reconstruction efforts, including the restoration of medical facilities, schools, and the construction of bomb shelters for educational infrastructure.
Additionally, the leaders discussed the relations between the two states at the institutional level within the European Union.
"Latvia has taken a principled stance in favor of Ukraine's full-fledged EU membership. I informed about the implementation of the recommendations of the European Commission by Ukraine, which was a prerequisite for opening the negotiations," the President said.
The Head of State thanked Latvia and personally Edgars Rinkēvičs for their readiness to maintain an energetic approach to EU cooperation with Ukraine.
During the meeting, the presidents also discussed efforts to implement the Peace Formula points.
Edgars Rinkēvičs expressed full support for President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's Peace Formula and called it the only way to end the war in Ukraine.
He also said that Latvia is actively involved in the work to return to Ukraine children illegally deported by Russia.
In addition, the Republic of Latvia is ready for further cooperation in holding Russia accountable and establishing a corresponding tribunal.
The President of Latvia emphasized that political, economic, and military support for Ukraine from his country will remain unwavering.
"We discussed the continued military support for Ukraine. This year, Latvia has prepared 3,000 servicemen for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and we will do the same next year. We are also finalizing the preparation of the next package of military aid, which will be sent to Ukraine," Edgars Rinkēvičs said.
He also noted Ukraine's progress in reforms and meeting the criteria for European Union membership.
"We believe that the EU should react appropriately by initiating the negotiation process," said the President of Latvia.
Edgars Rinkēvičs emphasized the importance of ensuring the export of grain from Ukrainian ports, particularly to Global South countries, which will be discussed at the upcoming second summit of the Grain from Ukraine initiative.