The B3+1 format has been in place for a quarter of a century. For 25 years now, the Foreign Ministers of the Baltic states and Germany have been meeting to coordinate their foreign policy more closely. Today, Heiko Maas met Edgars Rinkēvičs from Latvia, Linas Antanas Linkevičius from Lithuania and Paul Teesalu from Estonia in Hamburg. Five days before the European Parliament elections, the focus was above all on European issues.
Maas had the following to say after the meeting:
We need a strong Europe based on solidarity and sovereignty. After all, we know that the European voice only has weight on the world stage if we stand united. And we need this weight if we want to stand our own in a geopolitical environment characterised by ever fiercer competition between large countries and an international order which is feeling the strain.
Russia and security
That is why the talks also focused on security policy. Foreign Minister Maas firmly believes that the Baltic’s security is also Europe’s security. Solidarity is the leitmotif of the German-Baltic partnership. Germany supports the Baltic states when it comes to security - for example through its military presence in Lithuania and by contributing to air policing in Estonia. Relations with Russia are a central issue for all four states. The Foreign Ministers agree that a European Ostpolitik also needs to make issues such as cyber security and greater resilience a priority. At the same time, dialogue with Russia is essential.