The migration issue “is an issue that concerns the entire European Union, and it is unfair for countries like Greece to shoulder alone the brunt of guarding passages like the Mediterranean, or to be accused of not saving lives,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said after meeting with his counterpart of Latvia, Krisjanis Karins, in Riga on Monday.
Although Greece and Latvia face different challenges in terms of migration, Mitsotakis said, both countries agree on the need to effectively guard the EU’s external borders. Beyond effective border guarding, the issue of migration must be addressed by seeking a European formula of common acceptance and understanding, he added.
Mitsotakis also underlined that in 2022 Greece and Latvia celebrated 100 years of diplomatic relations, and that despite the geographical distance both countries deal with political and economic challenges in a common way.
On his part, Premier Karins also underlined the significance of reinforcing the external EU border security, and underlined that the migration issue is a challenge that must be controlled. Finding common ways to boost security is key, he added, and that Latvia plans to increase its defence budget GDP percentage.
The focus of the meeting – in the first visit of a Greek prime minister to Latvia in the last 20 years – was bilateral economic collaboration in the framework of the European Union and NATO, whose summit opens on Tuesday in Vilnius, as well as European policy on migration currently under discussion.