I think it's interesting, when you look at the EU and NATO, that 22 countries are in both organizations. There are a few in just one or the other. The issue of the north and the south has come up a lot lately, but I think we've realized in the last couple of years that we have to share concerns. Yes, when it comes to our region and Russia and the security threat, it's important that Italy and Spain and Portugal recognize it. At the same time, however, when Italy receives tens of thousands of migrants and refugees from Africa, they turn to us and ask for help. It becomes a debate, especially in some parts of Europe, about whether we have an obligation.
Latvia accepted its obligation; we agreed to accept about 750 migrants, I think. We don't have experience, we don't have the infrastructure, but we agreed to do it. In the last two years, we have already processed about 300. Most of them don't stay. They end up going to Germany, to Sweden, to countries that are perhaps wealthier and can offer more in benefits.
We have some people in politics in Latvia who ask why we are we doing this and say that it's not our problem. What I try to point out, in the case of Italy, is that the Prime Minister of Italy who agrees to send planes and troops to Latvia is the same prime minister who is asking us whether we can help out with handling some of the refugees.
Even though they're two different organizations, then, the issues are the same. We do a lot in the north to remind our southern neighbours about concerns. We're very strong supporters of the eastern partnership in the European Union—Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia. We try to draw in our southern neighbours, and at the same time they try to engage us more in the problems of northern Africa, the Middle East, and the Sahel.
It will always be an uphill struggle, because everyone has regional concerns at stake, but I'm generally pleased. I think there's a recognition that we have to help each other because we're in this boat together.