The meeting with Czech partners in the parliament and government affirmed the views Latvia and Czech Republic share on topical security challenges and stance on matters related to NATO-EU relations. Rihards Kols, head of Saeima’s Foreign Affairs Committee, after his official visit to Czech Republic, as confirmed by Saeima’s press-service.
During his meeting with Vice-Speaker of Czech Senate Jiří Oberfalzer, Kols congratulated the country with the 20th anniversary of joining NATO. «Our countries are dependable NATO partners,» said Kols, stressing the need to strengthen NATO capabilities. He stressed that Latvia already allocates 2% of GDP for its defence budget and the Czech Republic has made this its goal for the future.
The head of Latvian Saeima’s Foreign Affairs Committee thanked Czech Republic for its contribution towards NATO’s expanded combat group’s presence in Latvia and patrolling Baltic airspace. ‘Participation in the expanded combat group is not only guarantee for our collective security but also an opportunity for NATO troops to train together,’ said Kols.
In a conversation with Czech Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee head Pavel Fišer, the sides discussed inter-parliamentary cooperation, security and EU affairs. Kols stressed Czech Republic’s support to ensure the safety of the Baltic region and voiced an interest to continue this cooperation.
Kols and Fišer agreed that cooperation in cyber-security is gradually becoming more topical, and it is possible there is a need to consider international legislation to govern countries’ and individuals’ activities in cyber-space. It is important to ensure information exchange and coordinate practical activities – EU, NATO and partners have to work together, said Kols.
When visiting the Czech Defence Ministry, Kols met with Czech deputy defence minister Radomír Jahoda. Kols outlined Czech Republic’s contribution to ensuring safety of the Baltic region and the need for cooperation against hybrid threats. The head of Latvian Saeima’s Foreign Affairs Committee also mentioned the contribution of NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence in Riga and invited Czech Republic to participate.