On November 12, 2019 the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, Andrei Dapkiunas, met with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Latvia, Einars Semanis.
The Deputy Minister and the Ambassador exchanged views on the current state of the Belarusian-Latvian relations, noted the consistent development and high intensity of the interstate dialogue, good contacts between line Ministries of the two countries, and discussed plans for further intensification of high level intergovernmental contacts.
A.Dapkiunas and E.Semanis noted that the historically close ties and traditions of cooperation, the modern nature of bilateral relations between Belarus and Latvia give practical meaning to the idea of good neighborhood.
One of the topics of the meeting was the discussion of opportunities to deepen interaction and mutual support between the two countries in the multilateral international organizations and bilateral contacts, including those related to digital technologies, climate, sustainable development, the fight against human trafficking, and nuclear energy security.
The two officials discussed in detail a wide range of issues related to the large-scale joint work of Belarus and Latvia in organizing the 2021 Ice Hockey World Championship.
Background: The decision to hold the World Ice Hockey Championship in 2021 in the capitals of Belarus and Latvia — Minsk and Riga — was taken by the International Ice Hockey Federation in May 2017. The championship will be held from May 7 to 23, 2021. It is the first championship in the history of world hockey tournaments which is held jointly by a member state of the European Union and a state that is not a member of the EU. In addition Minsk will host group stage matches and play-offs including final match. The organizing committees of the two countries for the preparation of this tournament are headed by the heads of governments.
The Belarusian and Latvian diplomats agreed on the desirability of creating the most favorable conditions for the movement of hockey fans and tourists during the championship, including visa regime, the border crossing and transport opportunities. The Deputy Minister and the Ambassador discussed the possible bilateral contacts between the organizing committees of the two countries, including at the level of their heads, as well as other organizational issues that may help to make the upcoming championship an example of friendly and responsible interaction between the two neighboring countries for the sake of strengthening the ideals of sport and peace.