Latvian President Egils Levits Visits Vienna

PeoplePoliticians ♦ Published: September 30, 2022; 13:24 ♦ (Vindobona)

Latvian Federal President Egils Levits recently visited his Austrian counterpart Van der Bellen in Vienna to hold consultations on current issues. The two condemned Russia's behaviour in the occupied territories and agreed that the results of the sham referenda held in the annexed territories should not be recognised.

Egils Levits, Latvian Federal President and Alexander Van der Bellen. / Picture: © Österreichische Präsidentschaftskanzlei / Peter Lechner and Paul Kulec/HBF

On Friday, Latvian Federal President Egils Levits met with Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen in Vienna. The two counterparts exchanged views on the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and its economic consequences.

Commenting on the recently announced plans to "absorb" the occupied territories into Russia, Alexander Van der Bellen stressed that this was "an illegal annexation that we can never accept.

Van der Bellen expressed his gratitude to be able to rely on reliable partners in such difficult times and was therefore all the more pleased about the visit of his Latvian counterpart.

The annexation of the territories is "another serious attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine", President Van der Bellen continued. The previously "conducted sham referendums in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories were a measure of the Russian regime in violation of international law and a pure farce. They are to be condemned in the strongest possible terms".

Egils Levits also had sharp words for Russia. "Latvia strongly condemns the 'referendums' illegally held by Russia in the occupied territories of Ukraine on their inclusion in the Russian Federation and does not recognise their results. The territory of Ukraine is within the internationally recognised borders," the Latvian President stressed.

The two Presidents discussed the need to continue providing all kinds of assistance to Ukraine, in particular the reception of refugees and the provision of education for Ukrainian children.

E. Levits pointed out that Latvia highly appreciated Austria's cooperation with NATO, especially its participation in international missions.Both Presidents stressed the importance of NATO's deterrence and defence policy, as Russia's military aggression against Ukraine was not only a matter of regional security, but threatened global security and stability.

President Levits  attended the "Constitution Day" ceremony in Vienna together with his counterpart President Van der Bellen. The Latvian President spoke about the importance of the rule of law in Europe.

Levits was invited by the Constitutional Court. He was a judge at the European Court of Justice for 15 years and at the European Court of Human Rights for 10 years, as well as ambassador to Vienna in the 1990s.

Presidential Chancellery of Austria