Latvia: President Rinkevics urges increased defence spending in EU

Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics called for increased EU defence spending, exempting it from fiscal rules, Kathimerini reports. He emphasised the need for the EU to be more self-reliant in defence and for more coordination in defence matters. During his visit to Athens, Rinkevics discussed with Greek officials boosting economic ties, securing more funding for external border security, and supporting Ukraine. Rinkevics backed the establishment of a long-term support fund for Ukraine within NATO. He said that the NATO summit in Washington would not invite Ukraine to membership talks, given Hungary’s opposition. However, while bilateral security agreements were important for Ukraine, they were no substitute for NATO membership, Rinkevics pointed out.