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More than a year after Lithuania withdrew the 17+1 cooperation framework of Central and Eastern European countries and China, making it a 16+1 format, Estonia and Latvia have quit from it as well.
Gabrielius Landsbergis
Gabrielius Landsbergis
© DELFI / Julius Kalinskas

In May 2021, when Lithuania confirmed it would leave China’s eastern European cooperation framework, in which it participated since 2012, Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis called on other countries to follow Lithuania’s example.

After the announcement of Estonia and Latvia’s decisions, Landsbergis tweeted on Thursday, “China's 17+1 format was already redundant and divisive long before Lithuania quit. Latvia and Estonia are now closing the door too. 14+1 should be replaced with EU27+1.”

Estonia’s Foreign Ministry stated on 11 August that it would continue to work toward constructive and pragmatic relations with China, which includes advancing EU-China relations in line with the rules-based international order and values such as human rights.

Latvia made issued a similar statement, saying that the country would continue striving for constructive and pragmatic relations with China both bilaterally and through EU-China cooperation based on mutual benefit, respect for international law, human rights and the international rules-based order.

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