May 30, 2024 4:45 am

Local News

Whitmer Visits With National Guard Troops, Latvian President During Trip Abroad

Credit: AP

by Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer met with the Latvian president and other Ukrainian allies this week during her visit to Russian neighbor Latvia, her office announced Friday.

Whitmer spent time with Michigan soldiers at Camp Adazi joining the 1st Battalion 182d Field Artillery Regiment, which is headquartered in Detroit, for readiness exercises with the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and NATO Partners in Latvia, her office said.

It was important to me to visit Latvia, a key Ukraine ally, to thank the foreign and domestic troops for their service. With Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine, it has become more important than ever to support our allies around the world to protect democracy.

– Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

“It was important to me to visit Latvia, a key Ukraine ally, to thank the foreign and domestic troops for their service. With Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine, it has become more important than ever to support our allies around the world to protect democracy,” Whitmer said in a news release Friday. “Our national security is just as important as our economic security, which is why Michigan soldiers will continue to play a vital role, whether in state or abroad.” 

While visiting Latvia, Whitmer’s office said she met with President Egils Levits, as well as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Latvia Christopher Robinson and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs, among other leaders.

Michigan recently reached the 30 years mark on its partnership with Latvia. In April 1993, after Latvia declared its independence from the now former U.S.S.R., Michigan and Latvia entered into a first-of-its-kind State Partnership program, where U.S. states partner with different counties to build relationships and open lines of communication.

Now 88 state partnerships exist. Michigan also began a partnership with Liberia in 2009.

This is Whitmer’s second European trip this year. In January, she went to Switzerland and Norway to speak with economic and energy leaders, as well as to speak at the World Economic Forum annual meeting. 

Whitmer’s recent international trips to speak with world leaders have fed into buzz that she could launch a presidential bid. While the Democrat has repeatedly dismissed the idea of running in 2024 and is co-chairing President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign, Whitmer has not closed the door on running in the future.

This story was written by Anna Liz Nichols, a reporter for the Michigan Advance, where this story first appeared.

Michigan Advance is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Michigan Advance maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Susan Demas for questions: info@michiganadvance.com. Follow Michigan Advance on Facebook