Heiko Maas welcomed a staunch pro European to the Federal Foreign Office today in the form of Edgars Rinkēvičs. The two Foreign Ministers discussed how the EU can be strengthened and its inner cohesion and resilience to external developments reinforced. Foreign Minister Maas stated the following:
Only a strong and sovereign Europe is capable of taking action on the global stage. We must work together even more closely, particularly in the area of common foreign and security policy. What is more, we must, as EU member states, be a constant driving force and systematically promote reform where it is required.
A peer review mechanism was therefore on the agenda at their talks. The idea here is for member states to hold discussions about the rule of law and common fundamental values within a fixed framework in the future.
Solidarity and resilience
The latest developments surrounding the INF Treaty and Russia’s conduct in the Kerch Strait are a cause for concern. Heiko Maas therefore emphasised Germany’s solidarity with and support for the eastern NATO partners. This is a cornerstone of German foreign policy that is unshakable and non negotiable. Germany is therefore lending its support to the Baltic states in the area of security. As part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence, it regularly seconds Bundeswehr troops to the region, above all to Lithuania. Moreover, the Federal Government is promoting a programme that seeks to raise awareness about false information among the Latvian population. The influence that such false information propagated by other countries may have is potentially great. It is with this in mind that Germany is supporting many projects in Latvia, such as a debate festival and the Transparency and Anti-Corruption Summer School.