Latvia seeks to develop relations with the Russian Federation in accordance with the principles of international law and in line with one of its key foreign policy priorities - the maintenance of good relations with neighbouring countries. Latvia sees its relations with the Russian Federation as taking the form of a constructive dialogue in the context of both bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
Bilaterally, cooperation with the Russian Federation is being pursued through:
- political dialogue (meetings of state officials)
- direct contacts between ministries and other state institutions;
- regional and cross-border cooperation.
History of Diplomatic Relations
On 11 August 1920, the Republic of Latvia and the Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic signed a peace treaty. Article 14 of the Treaty provided for the establishment of diplomatic and consular contacts between the parties upon ratification of the peace treaty.
The Latvian Embassy in Russia
Latvia's first diplomatic representative in Soviet Russia was Ambassador Janis Vesmanis. Mr Vesmanis presented his letter of accreditation on 2 November 1920. The Latvian Embassy was located in Moscow from 1920 to 1940.
Latvian consular representations in Russia
Latvian consular representations were established during the Civil War period (1919-1920) in Blagoveshchensk and Murmansk. Consular functions were also performed by representatives of the Latvian Interim Government: in Northern Russia by Alfreds Ikners (Archangelsk), in Southern Russia by Kristaps Bahmanis (Kiev) and Rudolfs Liepins (Don and Kuban). From June 1919 to October 1920, Latvia was also represented in Siberia and the Urals by Janis Mazpolis (Vladivostok).
Following the signing of the peace treaty, the following Latvian consular representations operated in Soviet Russia (as of December 1922 - the USSR):
- Moscow: Consulate-General (1920-1923)
- Petrograd (as of 1924 - Leningrad):
- Consulate-General (1924-1932, 1937-1938)
- Consulate (1920-1924, 1932-1937)
- Nizhny Novgorod: Consulate (1920-1921)
- Omsk: Consulate (1921-1923)
- Vitebsk: Consulate (1925-1932)
- Vladivostok: consular agency (1920-1923)
Russian diplomatic and consular representations in Latvia
The first official representative of Soviet Russia in Latvia, Jakov Ganecki, was accredited on 1 October 1920.
The USSR had the following consular representations in Latvia:
- Consulate-General (1925-1934)
- Consulate (1938)
- Daugavpils: Consulate (1923-1932)
- Liepaja: Consulate (1923-1932)
On 24 August 1991, the Russian Federation recognised the restored independence of Latvia, and diplomatic relations were renewed on October 4 of the same year.
Latvia’s economic relations with Russian Federation
Goods trade in the first half of 2015:
In the first half of 2015, the total goods trade turnover with Russia amounted to 871.63 MEUR. Russia, with 8.92% of the total volume of trade, is Latvia’s third largest goods trade partner. In the first half of 2015, the turnover of trade in goods between Latvia and Russia decreased by 12.5%, or by 124.26 MEUR, compared to the first half of 2014.
Russia is the third largest export partner for Latvian products. In the first half of 2015, exports of Latvia to Russia amounted to 378 MEUR. During this period, the volume of goods export to Russia decreased by 20%, or by95 MEUR, compared to the first half of 2014.
Russia is the fourth largest import partner of Latvia. In the first half of 2015, import from Russia amounted to 494 MEUR. During this period, the volume of goods import from Russia decreased by 5.5%, or by 29 MEUR, compared to the first half of 2014.
The main goods exported to Russia during this period were food industry products (27%, mainly alcohol, wine and fish preserves); machinery, mechanisms and electric appliances (26%); and products of the chemical or allied industries (10%).
The main goods imported from Russia during this period were mineral products (42%, mainly oil gases and oils); base metals and articles of base metals (25%); and products of the chemical or allied industries (11%, mainly fertilizers).
Goods trade in the first half of 2015 (Data of the Central Statistics Board)
- Lithuania – EUR 804,958,602, or 17.84% of the total exports of Latvia
- Estonia – EUR 505,958,201, or 11.21%
- Russia – EUR 378,126,018, or 8.38%
- Germany – EUR 289,317,597, or 6.41%
- Poland – EUR 272,311,079, or 6.04%
- Lithuania – EUR 884,925,896, or16.83% of the total imports of Latvia
- Poland – EUR 590,067,151, or11.22%
- Germany – EUR 515,226,768, or9.80%
- Russia – EUR 493,510,484, or9.39%
- Estonia – EUR 392,772,494, or 7.47%