Minister for Foreign Affairs begins tour of Baltic Republics

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, will begin tomorrow a tour of the Baltic Countries, which will begin in Lithuania, continue in Latvia and end on Friday, 9 April, in Estonia, during which she plans to hold meetings at the highest level, with the aim of stepping up our political and economic relations and projecting Spain’s image in the countries in the region.

Vilnius (Lithuania) will be the first port of call on this visit to the Baltic Republics and the first visit by a top level Spanish authority since 2018. During her stay, she plans to hold meetings with the President of Lithuania, Gitanas Nauseda, with the Prime Minister, Ingrida Simonyte, with the Speaker of the Parliament, Viktorija Cmilyté-Nielsen (who will be accompanied by the Minister for the Treasury, Gintaré Skaiste) and with her counterpart, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Gabrielus Landsbergis.

She will also meet with representatives of several Spanish companies that operate in Lithuania, visit the Bio-science Centre (which collaborates with Spanish universities) and the University of Vilnius – founded, among others, by Spanish Jesuits, at which she will chat with students – take part in the floral tribute to those who fell in the defence of the independence of Lithuania, and talk briefly with the Leader of the Opposition of Belarus, Svetlana Tijanovskaya.

This trip takes place at a key time for relations between Spain and Lithuania, which will celebrate a very important date in 2022, within the framework of the triple commemoration of the centenary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries and the 30th anniversary of both the re-establishment of these relations and the success of the Lithuanian basketball team at the Barcelona Olympic Games – of great importance to the followers of that sport in Lithuania.

Another important factor is the presence of our armed forces in both Lithuania and in the rest of the region, a presence that is particularly gratifying and highly valued as a contribution to the defence of these countries and to NATO’s eastern flank. This participation on military missions on the ground is a fundamental pillar of bilateral relations with each of the countries that the minister will visit on her trip.

In fact, this will be another of the leading components on the second stopover of her tour in Riga (Latvia). The trip to this Baltic capital takes place on the verge of the commemoration of the centenary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries, which also coincides with the 30th anniversary of their re-establishment.

During her stay in Riga, the minister will meet with the President of the Republic, Egis Levits, with the Prime Minister, Krisjanis Karins, with the Speaker of the Parliament, Inara Murniece and with her counterpart, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkevics. She will also have the chance to speak with senior military officials of the Enhanced Forward Presence mission, located at Adazi Base, where more than 300 Spanish servicemen are deployed.

The final stage of her tour will be to Tallinn (Estonia) where the minister is scheduled to meet with her counterpart, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eva-Maria Liimets, with the Prime Minister, Kaja Kallas, with the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee of Experts, Marko Mihkelson, and with the President of the Republic, Kersti Kaljulaid.

The visit by Arancha González Laya to Estonia takes place within the context of the commemoration of the centenary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Spain and Estonia, held on 8 March, on the occasion of which President Kaljulaid visited Madrid.

The minister’s trip opens up the opportunity to step up relations in such other important areas as the economy and the growing projection of our language and culture. On the occasion of her visit, the inauguration of the exhibition “Zuloaga: the Soul of Spain” will take place at the Museum of Art of Estonia. The minister will also visit the Digital Centre of Estonia. The presence of our troops in the region is particularly noteworthy, as is our participation at the NATO Centre of Excellence on Cyber-defence, of which Spain is not only a founding member but also heads up the Operational Command.







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