Search

 

Cablegate: Latvia Supports Status Quo On Belarus Travel Restrictions,

VZCZCXRO1103
OO RUEHIK
DE RUEHRA #0541 3101136
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 061136Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY RIGA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6126
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS RIGA 000541

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958:N/A
TAGS: PREL EUN BO LG
SUBJECT: LATVIA SUPPORTS STATUS QUO ON BELARUS TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS,
BUT SEEKS TO EXPAND ECONOMIC TIES

REF: A. SECSTATE 112644

1. (SBU) Latvia supports the status quo of sanctions against Belarus
and will back the EU position of a further one year suspension of
travel restrictions at the next GAERC meeting on November 16.
Nonetheless, Latvia is looking to build a stronger economic
relationship with Belarus, as evidenced by FM Riekstins' visit to
Minsk on November 4 and a Riga municipal government trade delegation
last month.

Initial Readout of FM Trip to Minsk
-----------------------------------

2. (SBU) Foreign Minister Maris Riekstins' November 4 trip to Minsk
was a success, according a preliminary readout from the Head of the
East Europe and Central Asia Division of the Latvian MFA, Liga
Andersone. The top two priorities were economic cooperation and
travel restrictions. Andersone said Latvia expects to sign an
agreement next month with Belarus on allowing limited cross-border
travel within 50 kilometers of the border, effectively reinstating
travel rights suspended upon Latvia's entry into the Schengen zone.
Latvia has already held consultations on this issue with the EC and
Andersone said improvement of people-to-people exchanges is
important for economic development, especially in these difficult
economic times.

3. (SBU) Belarus FM Martynov reportedly told Riekstins that Belarus
is grateful for EU financial assistance, but lamented the slow pace
of distribution. Martynov also noted that he is confident the EU
will work to simplify its visa regime with Belarus to be more
consistent with the EU visa policies for Ukraine, Russia, and
Moldova. Andersone said that simplification of the visa regime
would be positive despite the fact that Lukashenko's government
would use the agreement for internal political benefit in advance of
next year's elections. Finally, Lukashenko asked Latvia to empathize
with its difficult decision not to recognize South Ossetia and
Abkhazia and the pressure it is under from Russia to do so.

4. (SBU) Comment: Latvian Undersecretary for Bilateral Affairs and
Economic Relations, Maija Manika, told Post in a separate meeting
with a visiting Treasury Department delegation that U.S. economic
sanctions against Belarus are having a direct negative impact on the
Latvian economy. Based on Manika's statements and Latvia's efforts
to strengthen its economic ties as listed above, it appears that
Latvia would welcome a softening of U.S. economic sanctions against
Belarus.
#GARBER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Tigray: Eritrean Refugees ‘scared And Struggling To Eat’ Amid Aid Obstacles
For the first time in weeks, aid teams have reached refugee camps in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, only to find that some Eritrean nationals living there have likely died of preventable diseases, while others are “scared and struggling to get enough to eat”, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, said on Friday...
More>>

UN News: Rare Coral Reef Discovered Near Tahiti Is ‘Like A Work Of Art’, Says Diver
One of the largest coral reefs in the world has been discovered by a UN-supported scientific mission off the coast of Tahiti. Announcing the stunning find on Thursday, UNESCO said that divers had explored large rose-shaped corals spanning some three kilometres, at depths of between 30 and 65 metres... More>>


Tonga Eruption: At Least 3 Dead, Amid Severe Destruction
At least three people have died in Tonga following the massive volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami wave that hit over the weekend. Homes and other buildings across the archipelago have suffered major damage... More>>

Ethiopia: UN Chief Lauds ‘Demonstrable Effort To Make Peace’

The UN Secretary-General on Wednesday said he was “delighted” to learn that “a demonstrable effort to make peace” in Ethiopia is finally underway, according to information relayed to him by the African Union High Representative for the Horn of Africa... More>>


Tigray: Agencies Suspend Aid As ‘Scores’ Are Killed Due To Airstrikes
Recent airstrikes on camps for internally displaced persons and refugees in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, have reportedly killed scores of civilians, including children, and left many more injured... More>>


UN News: For 25th Year In A Row, Greenland Ice Sheet Shrinks

2021 marked the 25th year in a row in which the key Greenland ice sheet lost more mass during the melting season, than it gained during the winter, according to a new UN-endorsed report issued on Friday... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC