Foreign relations of Latvia

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politics and government of
Latvia
Foreign relations

The foreign relations of Latvia are the primary responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 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. Latvia welcomes further cooperation and integration with NATO, European Union, OECD and other Western organizations. It also seeks more active participation in UN peacekeeping efforts worldwide.

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 September 20, 2003, in a nationwide referendum, the Latvians voted to join the European Union and Latvia's EU membership took effect on May 1, 2004.[1] Latvia became a member state of NATO on March 29, 2004.[2]

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, India, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, 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.

Relations by country

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Afghanistan 1928-02-16, 2005-01-18[3]
 Albania 1928-02-16, 1992-04-22
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1928 and were restored in 1992.[4]
  • Albania is represented in Latvia by its embassy in Warsaw, Poland.[4]
  • Latvia is represented in Albania by its embassy in Rome, Italy and an honorary consulate in Tirana.[5]
  • Both countries have a number of bilateral agreements.[6]
 Antigua and Barbuda March 19, 1993

Both countries established diplomatic relations on March 19, 1993.[7]

 Armenia 1992-08-22 See Armenia–Latvia relations
  • Armenia is represented in Latvia through its embassy in Warsaw (Poland).
  • Latvia is represented in Armenia through a non-resident ambassador based in Riga (at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and through an honorary consulate in Yerevan.[8]
  • Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Armenia[9]
 Australia 1991-08-27[10] See Foreign relations of Australia
 Austria 1921-02-17, 1991-08-28 See Foreign relations of Austria
 Azerbaijan 1994-01-11[11] See Azerbaijan–Latvia relations
 Belarus 1992-04-07[12] See Foreign relations of Belarus
 Belize 2005-02-03 Both countries established diplomatic relations on February 3, 2005.[13]
 Botswana 2003-03-17

Both countries established diplomatic relations on March 17, 2003.[7]

 Bulgaria 1922-05-24, 1991-09-10[14] 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.

 Burundi 1993-05-24

Both countries established diplomatic relations on May 24, 1993.[15]

 Canada 1921-01-26, 1991-08-26[16] See Canada–Latvia relations
 Cape Verde 1992-10-21

Both countries established diplomatic relations on October 21, 1992.[17]

 Central African Republic 2012-05-30

Both countries established diplomatic relations on May 30, 2012.[17]

 China

Persecution of Uyghurs in Xinjiang
In October 2019, British UN Ambassador Karen Pierce delivered a joint international statement on Xinjiang at the UN General Assembly's Third Committee on Tuesday on behalf of 23 countries, including Latvia. The countries said they shared concerns raised by the United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination regarding “credible reports of mass detention; efforts to restrict cultural and religious practices; mass surveillance disproportionately targeting ethnic Uyghurs; and other human rights violations and abuses.” They called on China to comply with its national and international obligations to respect human rights, including freedom of religion, and allow UN human rights monitors access to detention centers.[18]

Hong Kong national security law
In June 2020, Latvia openly opposed the Hong Kong national security law[19]

 Colombia 1922-07-08, 1995-07-19[20]
  • Colombia counts with an honorary consulate in Riga.[21]
  • Latvia counts with an honorary consulate in Bogotá and is represented by the German embassy in Colombia for consular services only.[22]
  • Colombia recognized Latvia as an independent country after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.[23]
 Comoros 2010-02-24

Both countries established diplomatic relations on February 24, 2010.[7]

 Croatia See Foreign relations of Croatia
 Czech Republic See Foreign relations of the Czech Republic
 Denmark See Denmark–Latvia relations
 Djibouti 2012

Both countries established diplomatic relations on March 30, 2012.[7]

 East Timor September 27, 2013

Both countries established diplomatic relations on September 27, 2013.[17]

 Estonia 1919-07-21, 1991-09-06[26] See Estonia–Latvia relations
  • Both states share a long common history: before 1918, they were both part of the Russian Empire.[27]
  • 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 Finland–Latvia relations
 France 1921-01-26, 1991-08-30 See Foreign relations of France
  • France has an embassy in Riga.
  • Latvia has an embassy in Paris.
  • Both countries are full members of the European Union and NATO.
 Gambia 1998-03-12

Both countries established diplomatic relations on March 12, 1998.[15]

 Georgia See Georgia–Latvia relations
 Germany See Germany–Latvia relations
  • Germany has an embassy in Riga.
  • Latvia has an embassy in Berlin.
  • Both countries are full members of the European Union and NATO.
 Greece See Greece-Latvia relations
 Guyana 2005

Both countries established diplomatic relations on March 16, 2005.[28]

 Hungary 1921-07-20, 1991-09-02 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 January 1, 1992.[29]
  • In 2005, a project entitled Latvian Government's Assistance to Iraq in the Documentation of Architectural and Archaeological Objects with Photogrammetric Methods was implemented.la
  • 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.[30]
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia: Iraq[31]
 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
  • Kazakhstan recognised Latvia's independence on December 23, 1991.
  • Latvia recognised the independence of Kazakhstan on January 8, 1992.
  • Kazakhstan is represented in Latvia through its embassy in Vilnius (Lithuania) and though an honorary consulate in Riga.[34]
  • Latvia has an embassy in Nur-Sultan and an honorary consulate in Almaty.
  • Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the relation with Kazakhstan[35]
 Kosovo See Kosovo–Latvia relations

Latvia recognized it on February 20, 2008.[36] Latvian and Kosovan governments established diplomatic relations on June 10, 2008.[37] However, Latvia's involvement in Kosovo date back to 2000 when it first sent peacekeeping troops.

 Kyrgyzstan 1993-03-18
 Lesotho 2014-02-10

Both countries established diplomatic relations on February 10, 2014.[15]

 Lithuania 1991-10-05 See also Foreign relations of Lithuania
  • Latvia has an embassy in Vilnius.[38]
  • Lithuania has an embassy in Riga.[39]
  • The two states share 588 kilometres (365 mi) of common border. Both countries are full members of the European Union.
 Luxembourg
  • 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.
 Malawi 1998

Both countries established diplomatic relations on September 10, 1998.[15]

 Malaysia

Latvia doesn't have any embassy in Malaysia.[40] while Malaysian embassy in Helsinki is accredited to Latvia.[41][42]

 Mauritania September 19, 1991

Both countries established diplomatic relations on September 18, 1991.[17]

 Mexico November 27, 1991 See Latvia–Mexico relations
  • Latvia is accredited to Mexico from its embassy in Washington, D.C., United States, and maintains an honorary consulate in Mexico City.[43]
  • Mexico is accredited to Latvia from its embassy in Stockholm, Sweden and maintains an honorary consulate in Riga.[44]
 Moldova
 Poland 1991-08-30 See Latvia–Poland relations
 Romania 1922-01-03
  • Between June 2, 1922 – October 18, 1939, the diplomatic representation of Latvia in Romania was handled by the Latvian legation in Prague, in then neighbouring Czechoslovakia. In 1924, Latvia opened 3 honorary consulates in Romania (in Bucharest, Constanţa and Galaţi). In May 1929, Romania opened its legation in Riga.
  • On October 18, 1939, Latvia opened its legation in Bucharest.
  • Romania recognized Latvia on August 26, 1991.
  • Both countries re-established diplomatic relations on September 13, 1991.
  • Latvia is represented in Romania through its embassy in Warsaw (Poland).
  • Romania is represented in Latvia through its embassy in Vilnius (Lithuania) and an honorary consulate in Riga.[48]
  • Both countries are full members of NATO, the European Union, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
  • Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Romania[49]
 Russia 1920-10-04 and again 1991-10-04 See Latvia–Russia relations
  • 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.[50] 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.
  • 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.
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2006

Both countries established diplomatic relations on August 25, 2006.[15]

 Samoa 2012

Both countries established diplomatic relations on June 28, 2012.[17][51]

 Sao Tome and Principe 1994

Both countries established diplomatic relations on July 26, 1994.[17]

 Serbia 2001-01-19
  • Latvia has a non-resident ambassador in Riga (in the Foreign Ministry).
  • Serbia is represented in Latvia through its embassy in Stockholm (Sweden).
  • Latvian Foreign Ministry about relations with Serbia[52]
  • Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Latvia[53]
 Sierra Leone 2014

Both countries established diplomatic relations on December 12, 2014.[54][17]

 Slovakia
  • 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.[55]
 Solomon Islands 2012-06-28

Both countries established diplomatic relations on June 28, 2012.[15]

 South Korea 1991-10-22[56] See Latvia – South Korea relations[57]

The establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and Latvijas Republika began on 1991-10-22.

 Spain See Latvia–Spain relations
 Suriname 2009

Both countries established diplomatic relations on May 20, 2009.[7]

 Taiwan 1923 See Foreign relations of Taiwan
  • Both countries had relations from 1923 'to 1991.
  • The Republic of China (Taiwan) never recognized the de jure incorporation of Latvia into the Soviet Union.
 Tajikistan 1994-05-11
 Togo 2014

Both countries established diplomatic relations on September 23, 2014.[17]

 Turkey See Latvia–Turkey relations
  • Latvia has an embassy in Ankara.
  • Turkey has an embassy in Riga.
  • Both countries are full members of NATO.
 Uganda 2013-10-01

Both countries established diplomatic relations on October 1, 2013.[7]

 Ukraine 1992-02-12 See Latvia–Ukraine relations
 United Kingdom 1991-09
  • Britain had strong links with Latvia before the Soviet occupation and annexation in 1940, which the UK never recognised de jure.
  • The UK recognised the restoration of Latvian independence on August 27, 1991.
  • The United Kingdom has an embassy in Riga.[67]
  • Latvia has an embassy in London and 3 honorary consulates (in Manchester, Scotland and Wales).[68]
  • There were 26,000 Latvian people registered as living in the United Kingdom in 2010.[69]
  • Both countries are full members of NATO.
  • British Foreign and Commonwealth Office about relations with Latvia[70]
  • Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with the United Kingdom[71]
 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.
  • [72]
 Zimbabwe 2015-01-23

Both countries established diplomatic relations on January 23, 2015.[7]

Problems

Disputes

Lithuania

Russia

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.

See also

References

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