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Latvian delegation focused on defence and security issues in exchanges with UK MPs/Peers

A delegation from the Saeima (Latvian Parliamentarian) visited UK from 20-22 February 2023 led by Mr Rihards Kols, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee (National Alliance Parliamentary Group), Ms Antoņina Nenaseva (Progressives Parliamentary Group), Mr Gatis Liepins (The New Unity Parliamentary Group), Ms Viktorija Pleskane (Stability! Parliamentary Group), Mr Jānis Vucans (Union of Green and Farmers Parliamentary Group) and Ms. Aiva Viksna (The United List Parliamentary Group).

On the first day of the visit, the delegation met with chair and vice-chair of the Latvia APPG Craig Tracy MP and Sir John Whittingdale MP. They discussed future cooperation between their two parliaments, the strengthening of bilateral relations and support for Ukraine in their fight against Russian aggression. They also met with Parliamentary staff to discuss the Westminster Parliamentary System and UK Parliament’s international relations. Chair of the BGIPU, the Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP, held a reception for the delegation that evening.

On the second day the delegation met with the Foreign Affairs Committee, Minister of State for the Armed Forces, the Lords Committee on European Affairs, and the Defence Select Committee for wide-ranging exchanges on defence and security issues with a specific focus on the threat posed by Russia’s illegal imvasion and war against Ukraine to European security and regional stability. They also discussed issues relating to the Northern Ireland Protocol, European-wide defence cooperation and the British-led Joint Expeditionary Force. They also met with the Digital, Culture Media and Sport Committee to discuss the vital need to combat disinformation campaigns by Russia and other malign actors on social media and other platforms.

On the third day the delegation met with Deputy Speaker the Rt Hon Speaker Nigel Evans MP, had a tour of the Churchill War rooms and observed Prime Ministers Questions before heading to the airport.  Delegation leader Richards Kols said it was “A couple of really intense days filled with getting to know each other, discussions, explaining, questioning and strengthening bonds…”

BGIPU Secretariat