On 23 May 2022, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, had a telephone conversation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, to discuss the current geopolitical situation and the issue of NATO enlargement, APA reports citing the Lethanuian Foreign Ministry.
Considering the current security situation in NATO’s eastern flank, during the conversation, E. Rinkēvičs asked Turkey to support the establishment of a permanent defense presence (the size of a brigade) in Latvia at the forthcoming NATO summit in Madrid.
E. Rinkēvičs expressed the position that the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO is a direct and significant improvement for the security of the Baltic States, Northern Europe, and the entire alliance. Finland and Sweden are NATO’s closest and most reliable partners and play an important role in ensuring stability in our region.
At the same time, the Latvian Foreign Minister expressed his understanding of Turkey’s legitimate security interests. The Minister expressed hope that a mutually acceptable solution would be found in the negotiation process and that Finland and Sweden would become members of NATO soon.
The Minister welcomed Turkey’s decision to extend the period during which Latvian citizens are entitled to stay in the Republic of Turkey without a visa. From 19 May this year, Latvian citizens are entitled to stay in Turkey for 90 days (including continuous) in each 180-day period for tourism purposes.