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, 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.

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

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Armenia 1992-08-22
 AustriaSee Foreign relations of Austria
 AzerbaijanSee Foreign relations of Azerbaijan
 BelarusSee Foreign relations of Belarus
 BulgariaSee 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.

 Canada1991-08-26See Canada–Latvia relations
  • 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]
 CroatiaSee Foreign relations of Croatia
 Czech RepublicSee Foreign relations of the Czech Republic
 DenmarkSee Denmark-Latvia relations
 EstoniaSee 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.
 FinlandSee Foreign relations of Finland
 FranceSee Foreign relations of France
 GeorgiaSee Foreign relations of Georgia
 GermanySee Foreign relations of Germany
 GreeceSee Foreign relations of Greece
 HungarySee Foreign relations of Hungary
 IcelandSee 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
 IrelandSee Foreign relations of the Republic of Ireland
 Israel1992-01-06See Israel–Latvia relations
 ItalySee Foreign relations of Italy
 Kazakhstan 1992-12-30
 North KoreaSee Foreign relations of North Korea
 KosovoSee 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.

 Lithuania1991-10-05 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.
 MalaysiaSee Latvia–Malaysia relations

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

 Poland1991-08-30See Latvia–Poland relations
 Russia1920-10-04 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.
  • See Latvia–Russia relations.
  • 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]
 South Korea1991-10-22[23] See Latvia–South Korea relations South Korea–Latvia relations Latvian–South Korean relations South Korean–Latvian relations
 United Kingdom1991-09
 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.

See also


  1. "Diplomatic missions - MFA of Latvia". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  2. "Ubicación". Cancillería. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  3. "Embajadas". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  4. "- Cancillería". Cancillería. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  5. Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Latvia
  6. "". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  7. "Error-2010-f3". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  8. "Diplomatic missions - MFA of Latvia". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  9. Kazakh embassy in Vilnius (also accredited to Latvia)
  10. "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.
  11. "Kosovo & Latvia Open Diplomatic Ties" 10 June 2008 Link accessed 10/06/08
  13. Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in the Republic of Latvia
  14. "Foreign diplomatic missions (1)". Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Latvia. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  15. "Foreign diplomatic missions (2)". Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Latvia. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  16. "EMBASSY OF MALAYSIA" (PDF). Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Latvia. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  17. "Latvijas vēstniecība Polijā". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  18. "Placówki Dyplomatyczne Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  19. Romanian embassy in Vilnius, also accredited to Latvia (new version)
  20. Text in League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. 2, pp. 196-231
  21. "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...
  25. "Embassy of Latvia in Ukraine". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  26. "Посольство України в Латвійській Республіці". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  27. "UK and Latvia". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  28. "Embassy of Latvia in London". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  29. Office of National Statistics, Population survey 2010 accessed 18 September 2010
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