During a working trip to Luhansk region on May 8, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky held a video conference with President of the Republic of Latvia Egils Levits.
As a result of the conversation, the heads of state signed a joint declaration on Ukraine's European prospect, the press service of the President of Ukraine informs.
Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Latvia and its President for supporting Ukraine, especially since 2014.
"Thank you for supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, for helping the wounded Ukrainian military, for expert assistance in carrying out reforms," he said.
The President of Ukraine also congratulated Egils Levits on the Day of Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia which was celebrated on May 4.
The leaders discussed the steps taken by the governments of the two countries to overcome the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The interlocutors also exchanged information on the progress of immunization and agreed on the importance of ensuring access to the COVID-19 vaccine for EU partner countries.
Separately, the heads of state discussed the aggravation of the situation in the temporarily occupied Crimea. They stressed the importance of launching the Crimean Platform as a mechanism for the de-occupation of Crimea and the protection of the rights of people living on the peninsula. Egils Levits confirmed his participation in the inaugural summit of the Crimean Platform in Kyiv on August 23 this year.
"The Crimean Platform is a very important initiative of Ukraine, aiming to prevent the international community from forgetting the problem of Crimea. I am one hundred percent sure that Ukraine will be able to return Crimea, and I think that the Crimean Platform is a very important political tool for this," said the President of Latvia.
In addition, the heads of state discussed a number of issues on the bilateral agenda, in particular, stressed the importance of restoring the dynamics of trade and economic cooperation to reach pre-crisis levels.
The talks resulted in the signing of a joint declaration on Ukraine's European prospect, in which the two leaders commended the significant progress made in implementing the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, support the need to update it, agree on the need for a strategic revision of the Eastern Partnership initiative and express intentions to strengthen joint efforts to support Ukraine's integration into the European Union. The presidents also pointed out Ukraine's intention to apply for EU membership in the future and agreed that the Republic of Latvia would support Ukraine when our state is ready for this responsible step.
Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Egils Levits for supporting Ukraine's European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
As the President’s press service notes, Latvia became the third country with which such a Declaration was signed, joining the circle of closest friends and partners of Ukraine. Relevant declarations were concluded with Lithuania and Poland in March and May this year.