“The consequences of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine continue to dominate the agenda,” said Krišjānis Kariņš, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia and Chair of the Committee of Ministers, when addressing the Parliamentary Assembly.
“Impunity cannot prevail,” he added. The minister called for continued and strong European unity in providing support to Ukraine and for Russia’s complete accountability for all crimes committed in Ukraine, including full legal and financial responsibility.
Latvia has been advocating for the establishment of a Special International Tribunal for the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine. As one of the founding members of the Register of Damage for Ukraine, Latvia is committed to obtaining increased support for this important initiative, which now brings together more than 40 countries and the European Union. It will also continue to address the forcible transfer of Ukrainian children by Russia and their unlawful adoption.
Moreover, the Latvian Presidency has been maintaining a dialogue on all current issues on the Committee of Ministers’ agenda. For example, it engaged with Armenia and Azerbaijan following the recent events in Nagorno Karabakh and with Turkey on the judgment concerning Osman Kavala.
The promotion of the execution of the European Court of Human Rights’ judgments is one of the Presidency’s priorities. In this context, the minister recalled that “the expulsion of Russia did not end its obligations to implement the judgments of the Court”.
Finally, Latvia’s priorities also include the promotion of freedom of expression, safety of journalists and the digital agenda, the new framework convention on artificial intelligence, participation of youth in democratic life and policy decision processes, as well as the Council of Europe’s engagement with civil society, including with representatives working towards a future free and democratic Belarus.