Latvia–Russia relations

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Latvia–Russia relations
Map indicating locations of Latvia and Russia

Latvia

Russia

Latvia–Russia relations (Latvian: Krievijas—Latvijas attiecības or Latvijas—Krievijas attiecības, Russian: Российско-латвийские отношения or Латвийско-российские отношения) is the bilateral foreign relations between Latvia and Russia. Latvia has an embassy in Moscow and two consulates general: in Pskov and Saint Petersburg. Russia has an embassy in Riga and two consulates general: in Daugavpils and Liepāja.

Both Russia and Latvia are members of UN, OSCE and Council of Europe. They have recognized each other since 1991.

History[edit]

In 2007, the border treaty between the two states was ratified, after the Constitutional Court of Latvia found it constitutional.

In 1920 - 1940, relations between the countries had existed, too (but in 1922 USSR had been founded, which took over the foreign affairs of its member states, including Russia).

Latvia and Estonia have considered nuclear power as a way to cut their energy dependence on Russia.[1]

Withdrawal of Russian of troops and the decommissioning of Skrunda-1[edit]

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation maintained its military presence in Latvia. It had troops stationed there and it continued to run the Skrunda-1 radar station. As early as 1992 [2] Russia agreed to start withdrawing its troops from Latvia. Following an 30 April 1994 agreement, Latvia allowed Russia to run the Skrunda-1 radar station for four more years in exchange for the full withdrawal of the Russian troops.[3] Russia adhered to this agreement and withdrew its remaining troops from Latvia in August 1994 (except for the troops stationed around Skrunda, who received permission to stay longer). One of the towers of the Skrunda-1 base was demolished with the help of the United States in May 1995.[4] In August 1998, Skrunda-1 suspended operations. Russia eventually dismantled the equipment and withdrew its remaining military personnel the following year.[5] These steps marked a symbolic end to the Russian military presence and World War II on the territory of Latvia.[6]

Violation of minority rights[edit]

Russia often criticizes Latvia for discriminating against the Russian-speaking population.[7][8][9][10][11][12] Russia has also participated in a number of cases of complaints against Latvia in the European Court of Human Rights as a third party. These cases also dealt with the violation of the rights of the Russian minority in Latvia. Such cases included Slivenko v. Latvia, Kononov v. Latvia, Vikulov and others v. Latvia,[13] Sisojeva And Others v Latvia, and Vasilevskiy v. Latvia.

Bilateral agreements[edit]

While some agreements have been signed by representatives of Latvia and Russia, not all have been passed by their respective legislatures and are therefore not in force. This list is limited to agreements in force.[14]

  • Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Latvia and the Government of the Russian Federation on Cooperation in the Field of Fishery, in force 21 July 1992 (indefinite)
  • Agreement between the Republic of Latvia and the Russian Federation on Legal Assistance and Legal Relations in Civil, Family and Criminal Matters, in force 28 March 1995 (indefinite)
  • Agreement between the Republic of Latvia and the Russian Federation on Transfer of Sentenced Persons, in force 10 June 1993 (indefinite)
  • Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Latvia and the Government of the Russian Federation on Regulation of the Resettlement Process and Protection of the Rights of Resettlers, in force 2 June 1993 (extended twice, now indefinite)
  • Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Latvia and the Government of the Russian Federation on Customs Border Posts, in force 24 June 1993 (extended by subsequent protocol which is indefinite)
  • Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Latvia and the Government of the Russian Federation in the Field of Communications, in force 2 June 1993 (indefinite)
  • Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Latvia and the Government of the Russian Federation on Joint Measures Aimed Toward Exploitation of the Pipeline Situated in the Territory of the Republic of Latvia, in force 2 June 1993 (indefinite)
  • Agreement between the Republic of Latvia and the Russian Federation on Legal Status of Radio-location Station Skrunda During Those Provisional Existence and Demontage, adopted 30 Apr 1994 (terminated 21 October 1999)
  • Agreement between the Republic of Latvia and the Russian Federation on Terms, Time Limits, Procedure of a Complete Withdrawal of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the Legal Status thereof during Withdrawal from the Territory of Latvia, in force 27 February 1995 (indefinite)
  • Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Latvia and the Government of the Russian Federation on Social Protection of Retired Military Personnel of the Russian Federation and their Family Members, Residing on the Territory of Latvia, in force 27 February 1995 (indefinite)
  • Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Latvia and the Government of the Russian Federation on Activities of the Authorized Border Agents, in force 14 December 1994 (indefinite)
  • Consular Convention between the Republic of Latvia and the Russian Federation, in force 18 May 1997 (indefinite)
  • Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Latvia and the Government of the Russian Federation on Mutual Travels of Citizens, in force 18 January 1995 (indefinite)
  • Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Latvia and the Government of the Russian Federation on Principles of Cooperation and Conditions of Bilateral Relations in the Field of Transport, in force 14 June 1995 (indefinite)
  • Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Latvia and the Government of the Russian Federation on International Road Transport, in force 16 March 1996 (indefinite)
  • Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Latvia and the Government of the Russian Federation on Trade Shipping, in force 15 May 1995 (indefinite)
  • Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Latvia and the Government of the Russian Federation on Cooperation in the Field of Border Defence, in force 26 February 1996 (indefinite)

Ambassadors[edit]

Ambassadors of Latvia in Russia[edit]

  • Jānis Peters (1991–1997)
  • Imants Daudišs (1997–2001)
  • Normans Penke (2001–2004)
  • Andris Teikmanis (2005–2008)
  • Edgars Skuja (since 2009)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Latvia, Estonia push for Baltic nuclear plant
  2. ^ RUSSIA, LATVIA AGREE ON TROOP WITHDRAWAL Deseret News. 3 February 1992. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Latvia takes over the territory of the Skrunda Radar Station". Embassy of the Republic of Latvia in Copenhagen. 21 October 1999. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  4. ^ U.S. EXPERTS DEMOLISH `MONSTER' TOWER IN LATVIA Deseret News. 4 May 1995. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  5. ^ The Weekly Crier (1999/10) Baltics Worldwide. October 1999. Retrieved 19 June 2013
  6. ^ SKRUNDA SHUTS DOWN. The Jamestown Foundation. 1 September 1998. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  7. ^ Assessment for Russians in Latvia Minorities at Risk. 31 December 2006. Retrieved 19 June 2013
  8. ^ Latvia criticized for abuse of minority rights Voice of Russia. 25 August 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2013
  9. ^ Latvia: Treatment of ethnic Russians; whether ethnic Russians face discrimination; availability of state protection (January 2004 - December 2005) UNCHR (originally published by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada). 19 January 2006. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  10. ^ (Russian) МИД РФ: Латвийский закон о СМИ ущемляет интересы русскоязычного населения Rosbalt. 15 July 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  11. ^ EU concerned over discrimination against Russian communities in Latvia, Estonia Pravda. 9 January 2003. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  12. ^ 1999 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - Latvia US Department of State. 23 February 2000. Retrieved 2013-06-13.
  13. ^ (Russian) Россия выступит третьей стороной в деле "Викуловы против Латвии" RIA Novosti. 15 January 2004. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  14. ^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia: Bilateral agreements Originally retrieved at the Embassy of Latvia in Moscow web site. Retrieved 9 January 2012.

External links[edit]