Kyiv Security Forum

Edgars Rinkevics: 2016 would probably be the most difficult year for the European Union

15 April 2016, 11:32

"2016 would probably be the most difficult year for the European Union - it is a test for the EU inside work, and also the ability to withstand external threats," - expressed his opinion Edgars Rinkevics, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Latvia, during the 9th Kyiv Security Forum, organized by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation.

He reminded that in two months there would be a referendum in the UK on the EU future membership. "It would be largely a decisive moment for the EU, regardless of the outcome of this referendum," - said the head of the Foreign Ministry of Latvia.

In addition, the EU will soon have to decide upon the refugee issue, Schengen Area problems, - explained Edgars Rinkevics. "This also deals with the prolongation of sanctions against Russia. We are going to discuss it in June,"- said the diplomat.

"That means this is a very stressful year. And we must do our best to preserve the unity of the EU as for its foreign policy, the Eastern Partnership and the Southern Partnership. If the Minsk agreements are not stuck to, we will have to continue sanctions against Russia to avoid deterioration of the situation in the Donbas. We must ensure the entire unity to fulfill our promises to liberalize the visa regime for Georgia and Ukraine and for the implementation of the Association Agreements with the countries they had been signed by,"- said Edgars Rinkevics.

"I am fully convinced that common sense will prevail", - concluded the Foreign Minister of Latvia.


The annual international event Kyiv Security Forum launched by Arseniy Yatsenyuk Foundation Open Ukraine in 2007 is a platform for debate on the most pressing security issues in Europe and the Black Sea Region.

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9th Kyiv Security Forum (Ukrainian):