Foreign relations of Latvia

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Today's Republic of Latvia regards itself as a continuation of the 1918–1940 republic. After the declaration on the restoration of its full independence on August 21, 1991, Latvia became a member of the United Nations on September 17, 1991, and is a signatory to a number of UN organizations and other international agreements, including Council of Europe, CERCO, International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, International Civil Aviation Organization, International Atomic Energy Agency, UNESCO, UNICEF, International Criminal Court, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. It also is a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and of the North Atlantic Coordinating Council. On 20 September 2003, in a nationwide referendum, the Latvians voted to join the European Union and Latvia's EU membership took effect on 1 May 2004. Latvia became a member state of NATO on March 29, 2004. Latvia welcomes further cooperation and integration with NATO, European Union, and other Western organizations. It also seeks more active participation in UN peacekeeping efforts worldwide.

Through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Latvia maintains embassies in Argentina, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Canada, the People's Republic of China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uzbekistan.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riga

It also operates missions to the United Nations in New York City and Geneva, to the European Union, the Chemical Weapons Nonproliferation Organization, the OSCE, NATO, World Trade Organization, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Latvia has a Consulate General in Russia; Consulates in Belarus and Russia; Honorary Consulates General in Australia, Cyprus, India, Israel, and Norway; and Honorary Consulates in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Mexico, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, and Venezuela.

Russia expresses concern for how Latvia's language and naturalization laws effect Latvia's Russian-speaking population. Russians comprised 27.6% of the population in 2010. In turn, Latvia is interested in the welfare of ethnic Latvians still residing in Russia. The latest Russian census shows about 40,000 still living in Russia, but sources indicate that given the probability of an undercount, Latvians in Russia probably number about 50,000-60,000.

Disputes - international: Treaty delimiting the boundary with Russia has been signed and ratified in 2007, under the treaty the Abrene district passes to Russia; ongoing talks over maritime boundary dispute with Lithuania (primary concern is oil exploration rights)

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for opiates and cannabis from Central and Southwest Asia to Western Europe and Scandinavia and Latin American cocaine and some synthetics from Western Europe to CIS; limited production of illicit amphetamines, ephedrine, and ecstasy for export.

Relations by country[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Armenia 1992-08-22
 Austria See Foreign relations of Austria
 Azerbaijan See Foreign relations of Azerbaijan
 Belarus See Foreign relations of Belarus
 Bulgaria See Bulgaria–Latvia relations

Bulgaria is represented in Latvia through its embassy in Warsaw (Poland) and through an honorary consulate in Riga. Latvia is represented in Bulgaria through its embassy in Warsaw (Poland) and through an honorary consulate in Sofia. Both countries are full members of NATO and of the European Union.

 Canada 1991-08-26 See Canada–Latvia relations
 Colombia 1995
  • Colombia counts with an honorary consulate in Riga.[2]
  • Latvia counts with an honorary consulate in Bogotá and is represented by the German embassy in Colombia for consular services only.[3]
  • Colombia recognized Latvia as an independent country after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.[4]
 Croatia See Foreign relations of Croatia
 Czech Republic See Foreign relations of the Czech Republic
 Denmark See Denmark-Latvia relations
 Estonia See Estonia–Latvia relations
  • Both states share a long common history: before 1918, they were both part of the Russian Empire.[5]
  • They were both re-occupied by the USSR between 1945 and 1991. Both countries established diplomatic relations on January 3, 1992.
  • Estonia has an embassy in Riga. Latvia has an embassy in Tallinn.
  • The two states share 343 km of common borders.[citation needed]
 Finland See Foreign relations of Finland
 France See Foreign relations of France
 Georgia See Foreign relations of Georgia
 Germany See Foreign relations of Germany
 Greece See Foreign relations of Greece
 Hungary See Foreign relations of Hungary
 Iceland See Iceland–Latvia relations

Iceland was the first country to recognise the independence of Latvia in August 1991. Both countries re-established diplomatic relations on August 22, 1991. Iceland is represented in Latvia through its embassy in Helsinki (Finland). Latvia is represented in Iceland through its embassy in Oslo (Norway) and an honorary consulate in Reykjavik. Both countries are full members of the Council of the Baltic Sea States, of NATO, and of the Council of Europe.

 Iraq 2004-10-15
  • Iraq recognized the independence of Latvia on 1 January 1992.[6]
  • In 2005, a project entitled Latvian Government's Assistance to Iraq in the Documentation of Architectural and Archaeological Objects with Photogrammetric Methods was implemented.
  • Latvia's participation in the Iraq war commenced in May 2003. At their peak the number of Latvian soldiers in Iraq was 126. They were withdrawn on November 8, 2008.[7]
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia: Iraq
 Ireland See Foreign relations of the Republic of Ireland
 Israel 1992-01-06 See Israel–Latvia relations
 Italy See Foreign relations of Italy
 Kazakhstan 1992-12-30
 Kosovo See Kosovan–Latvian relations

Latvia recognized it on 20 February 2008.[11] Latvian and Kosovan governments established diplomatic relations on 10 June 2008.[12] However, Latvia's involvement in Kosovo date back to 2000 when it first sent peacekeeping troops.

 Lithuania 1991-10-05 See also Foreign relations of Lithuania
  • Latvia has an embassy in Vilnius.[13]
  • Lithuania has an embassy in Riga.[14]
  • The two states share 588 kilometres (365 mi) of common border. Both countries are full members of the European Union.
  • Luxembourg did not recognise the annexation of the Baltic States by the USSR in 1940-1991 either de iure or de facto.
  • Diplomatic relations between the two countries were restored on April 21, 1992.
  • Latvia is represented in Luxembourg through its embassy in Brussel (Belgium) and through an honorary consulate in Luxembourg City. Luxembourg is represented in Latvia through its embassy in Warsaw (Poland) and through an honorary consulate in Riga.
  • Both countries are full members of NATO and of the European Union.
 Malaysia See Latvia–Malaysia relations

Latvia doesn't have any embassy in Malaysia.[15] while Malaysian embassy in Helsinki is accredited to Latvia.[16][17]

 Poland 1991-08-30 See Latvia–Poland relations
 Romania 1922-01-03
 Russia 1920-10-04 and again 1991-10-04
  • Until 1917, Latvia had been part of the Russian empire. Following the Latvian declaration of independence, war broke out between Latvia and the Russian SFSR.
  • Diplomatic relations between the two countries were first established in 1920, following the conclusion of a Soviet-Latvian peace treaty on August 11, 1920.[21] The treaty was ratified by the Latvian Constituent Assembly on September 2, and by the Latvian government on September 25. On the Russian side, it was ratified by the Pan Russian Central Executive Committee on September 9. Ratification letters were exchanged between the two governments in Moscow on October 4, the date on which in entered into effect. These relations lasted until the Soviet take over of Latvia in 1940.
  • Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian government recognized the independence of Latvia on August 24, 1991.
 Serbia 2001-01-19
  • Both countries established direct diplomatic relations on January 1, 1993. Latvia is represented in Slovakia through its embassy in Vienna (Austria). Slovakia has an embassy in Riga. Both countries are full members of NATO and of the European Union. Latvian Foreign Minister Indulis Berzins and his Slovak counterpart Eduard Kukan met in Riga in 2000.[22]
 Ukraine 1992-02-12
 United Kingdom 1991-09
 United States 1922-07-28 See Latvia – United States relations
  • The U.S. Legation in Riga was officially established on November 13, 1922 and served as the headquarters for U.S. representation in the Baltics during the interwar era. The Soviet invasion forced the closure of the legation on September 5, 1940, but Latvian representation in the United States has continued uninterrupted for 85 years.
  • The U.S. Embassy in Latvia is located in Riga.
  • [2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction if the Latvian representation in Armenia
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Latvia
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^
  8. ^ Israeli embassy in Riga
  9. ^ Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: directions of Latvian representations in Israel
  10. ^ Kazakh embassy in Vilnius (also accredited to Latvia)
  11. ^ "Announcement by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Latvia on recognition of Kosovo's independence". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Latvia. 2008-02-20. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  12. ^ "Kosovo & Latvia Open Diplomatic Ties" 10 June 2008 Link accessed 10/06/08
  13. ^ Embassy of the Republic of Latvia in the Republic of Lithuania
  14. ^ Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in the Republic of Latvia
  15. ^ "Foreign diplomatic missions (1)". Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Latvia. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  16. ^ "Foreign diplomatic missions (2)". Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Latvia. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  17. ^ "EMBASSY OF MALAYSIA" (PDF). Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Latvia. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  18. ^ Latvian embassy in Warsaw (in Latvian and Polish only)
  19. ^ Polish embassy in Riga
  20. ^ Romanian embassy in Vilnius, also accredited to Latvia (new version)
  21. ^ Text in League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. 2, pp. 196-231
  22. ^ "Latvian, Slovak foreign ministers praise ties, discuss EU, NATO integration". BNS. November 6, 2000. Retrieved 2009-06-11. Relations between Latvia and Slovakia are good and have a potential for development, Latvian Foreign Minister Indulis Berzins and his Slovak counterpart Eduard Kukan agreed in the talks in Riga today. Latvia and Slovakia have common foreign policy aims which facilitate bilateral relations and discussions. Berzins and Kukan agreed that both countries were interested in development of a political dialogue, cooperation between foreign and defence ministries, as well as... 
  23. ^ Latvian embassy in Kiev
  24. ^ Ukrainian embassy in Riga
  25. ^ UK embassy in Riga
  26. ^ Latvian embassy in London
  27. ^ Office of National Statistics, Population survey 2010 accessed 18 September 2010