NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with President Egils Levits in Riga on Tuesday (8 March 2022) at the start of a visit to Latvia. They discussed Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, its humanitarian impact and the implications for Euro-Atlantic security.
“This is Europe’s fastest growing refugee crisis since World War Two,” said the Secretary General. He noted the credible reports of civilians coming under fire while evacuating and underlined that targeting civilians is a war crime.
“We need real humanitarian corridors that are fully respected,” Stoltenberg said. The Secretary General also praised Allies for supporting Ukraine, imposing costs on Russia, and strengthening NATO’s presence in the east, sending a clear message that NATO will defend and protect every inch of Allied territory.
The Secretary General also visited NATO’s Canadian-led multinational battlegroup at Camp Ādaži, together with Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Spanish President Pedro Sánchez. They met with NATO troops serving in the battlegroup and the Secretary General praised them for their service.
Stoltenberg also thanked Allies, including Canada, Spain and the United States, for deploying hundreds more troops to the battlegroup.
“Our presence here in Latvia sends an unmistakable message of unity and resolve: our commitment to Article 5 of the Washington Treaty is absolute,” he said.