President Zelenskyy visits Riga on a tour of the Baltics

Associate Visuals and Layout Editor

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine visited Riga, the capital city of Latvia, last week. 

Zelenskyy’s tour, meant to rally both support for the Ukrainian war effort and continued economic assistance, started on Jan. 10. His first stop was Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania. There he met Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda. 

Zelenskyy visited Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, earlier on Jan. 11.

Zelenksyy then met with Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics, Prime Minister Evika Silina and Speaker of the Saeima Daiga Mierina later that day.

According to Zelenskyy, the purpose of the visits to the Baltic region was to discuss a number of issues.

“Security, EU and NATO integration, cooperation on electronic warfare and drones, and further coordination of European support are all on the agenda,” he said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“The only way to stop Russia is to ramp up military support to Ukraine without delay,” Krisjanis Karins, foreign minister of Latvia, said on X.

Many arrived outside of Riga Castle showing support for the Ukrainian president.

Ethan Grandin/THE REVIEW

Suzzane, a half-Latvian and half-British expat who asked to be identified by first name only, has been visiting Latvia since its independence in 1992.

“I think that Latvians are very pro-Zelenskyy,” Suzzane said, when asked if Zelenskyy has a large audience of Latvians paying attention to Ukrainian politics and the ongoing war. “We all have an interest in maintaining Ukrainian independence because maintaining their independence is important, because [The Russian Federation] threatens the Baltic states.” 

The crowd that gathered outside of Riga Castle was diverse, ranging from children waving Latvian and Ukrainian flags to many older people.

Ethan Grandin/THE REVIEW

The crowd stood many feet away behind police barricades. A silence came over the crowd when Zelenskyy arrived. 

The Latvian military was present during the visit, providing an honor guard for the Ukrainian president.

After these visits to the Baltic capitals, Zelenskyy headed back to Ukraine in the wake of rallying support for the Ukrainian war effort.