Chronology of Co-operation between Latvia and NATO 2003

02.12.2014. 19:09

Chronology of Co-operation between Latvia and NATO 2003

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December 18-19, 2003

US Ambassador to NATO, Nicholas Burns, visited Latvia. During his visit he conferred with Latvia's President Vaira Vike-Freiberga and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sandra Kalniete, and discussed issue related to NATO, Latvia's participation in international peacekeeping missions and EU security policy. Mr Burns also participated in the annual meeting in Riga of heads of Latvia's diplomatic missions abroad. The discussions centred on Euro Atlantic relations and security policy.

December 18, 2003

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands signed the decision of the Netherlands- Parliament about the accession of seven countries, including Latvia, to the North Atlantic Alliance.

December 4 - 5, 2003

Latvia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sandra Kalniete participated in the meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels. Ms. Kalniete was the first Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs to represent Latvia in the North Atlantic Council meeting at the foreign ministers' level. She also took part in the meetings of the NATO-Ukraine Commission and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council.

December 2, 2003

The Parliament of Iceland ratified Latvia-s and the other NATO invited countries- Accession Protocols of the North Atlantic Treaty.

December 1-2, 2003

Latvia-s Minister of Defence Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis participated in the meeting of NATO Defence ministers in Brussels.

November 27, 2003

The House of Representatives of Belgium voted for the ratification of Accession Protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty of the seven countries - Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia - invited to join the Alliance. Thereby, the ratification process of the NATO accession protocols was concluded in the Parliament of Belgium.

November 27, 2003

Parliament of Portugal voted for the Accession Protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty of the seven countries - Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia - invited to join the Alliance.

November 6, 2003

The Parliament of Greece voted yes for the accession of the seven NATO candidate countries by ratifying their accession protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty. The draft law was adopted by a convincing majority of votes: 283 for and 17 against.

November 5, 2003

The Turkish Parliament endorsed the Accession Protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty of the seven countries invited to join the Alliance.

October 31, 2003

Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning Issues John Colston paid visit to Latvia. During his visit, NATO Assistant Secretary General Colston met with President Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Ministry of Defence Deputy State Secretary for Defence Planning Issues Janis Karlsbergs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs State Secretary Maris Riekstins, Finance Ministry State Secretary Valentins Andrejevs and the Chairman of the 8th Saeima-s Committee on Defence and the Interior, Arnolds Laksa. General Colston will meet with discussed the process of Latvia-s accession to NATO, and provided information on the defence and military issues which the North Atlantic Alliance will expect from Latvia as a fully fledged NATO member state.

October 28, 2003

The annual meeting of NATO Senior Political Committee Reinforced with representatives from Latvia took place at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels. The Latvian delegation was headed by the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maris Riekstins, and Under-Secretary of State of the Ministry of Defence, Janis Karlsbergs. The meeting focused on Latvia's progress toward full membership of the North Atlantic alliance and on the fulfilment of Latvia's Reform Implementation Plan for NATO Membership.

October 27, 2003

The United Kingdom officially announced the Parliament's ratification of NATO Accession Protocols of Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The documents were deposited with the US State Department.

October 13, 2003

The Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia to NATO, Imants Liegis, submitted Latvia's NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) for 2004, which had been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers to NATO Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs, Guenther Altenburg.

October 8-10, 2003 The meeting of defence ministers from NATO member states and invited nations took place in Colorado Springs, USA. Both Latvian Minister of Defence Girts Valdis Kristovskis and National Armed Forces Commander Rear-Admiral Gaidis Andrejs Zeibots took part in this meeting.

3 October 2003 

The President of Poland Alexander Kwasniewski formally signed the Law on Ratification of the Accession of the Republic of Latvia to the North Atlantic Treaty, as well as legislation on the accession to NATO by the other 6 candidate countries. With the signing, ratification by Poland of the Protocols on accession to NATO has been completed.

9 September 2003 

The Cabinet of Ministers approved Latvia's NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) for 2004. The approved document is the final Action Plan before Latvia becomes a full-fledged member state of NATO in May next year. Latvia's NATO Membership Action Plan for 2004 aims to reflect Latvia's preparations for NATO membership and will serve as a basis for assessing the fulfilment of commitments by Latvia in view of its prospective membership of the North-Atlantic Alliance.

7 August 2003 

The upper house (Senate) of the Parliament of the Czech Republic ratified by an overwhelming majority (60 votes in favour, 2 against) the Protocols on Accession to NATO of the seven countries - including Latvia - invited to join the Alliance, in doing so manifesting its support for the entry of these countries into NATO. The agreement on accession of the seven countries has yet to be promulgated by the Czech President.

5 August 2003 

A unit of Latvian National Armed Forces (NAF) soldiers left to join peacekeeping operations in Iraq. The contingent of 105 Latvian soldiers will assume their duties in the international coalition at the Unified Military Command (two soldiers), in the division, brigade and battalion headquarters of the Polish-led multinational stabilization force (3 soldiers), in a platoon of multinational military police (MP) (two military police officers) and in an infantry platoon (98 soldiers) in the 1st Battalion of the brigade of Polish-led multinational stabilization forces.

24 July 2003 

The Senate of the Italian Parliament voted to ratify the Protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty on Accession of the seven countries - Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia - invited to join NATO at last year's NATO Prague Summit. The law on ratification of the Protocols must now be signed by the Italian President.

23 July 2003 

Latvia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sandra Kalniete met with US Ambassador to Latvia, Brian E. Carlson. The Ambassador had arrived in Latvia to present the Minister with the US flag that flew over the Capitol Building in Washington on the day the US Senate endorsed Latvia's accession to NATO.

11 July 2003 

The German Bundesrat passed a unanimous decision on the Protocols of Accession to NATO of Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia. The German Bundestag already voted on the law on 5 June 2003, but in accordance with German legislation, it had to be additionally endorsed by the Bundesrat.

9 July 2003 

A unanimous vote in favour of the Accession Protocols of the North Atlantic Treaty  was made by the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of Luxembourg. The law has yet to be signed by the Grand Duke of Luxembourg for the Protocols to be considered as ratified.

4 July 2003 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Sandra Kalniete met with the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of NATO European Forces, Admiral Rainer Feist. They discussed the dynamics of EU-NATO relations.

17 June 2003 

In order to participate in the peacekeeping mission the Cabinet of Ministers of Latvia took decision to deploy 103 soldiers of the Latvian National Armed Forces in Iraq. It is supposed that Latvian unit will arrive in Iraq in August 2003.

12 June 2003 

The Minister of Defence Ģ.V.Kristovskis participated in NATO Defence Minister meetings. Within the NATO-s Defence Planning Committee, the Ministers approved a new command structure for NATO, as well as the Ministers- guidelines for developing the NATO Forces for the next 5 years. During his speech the Latvian Minster of Defence emphasised the necessity for NATO to establish a support concept for the Baltic States.
The second meeting of the Ministers was held within the framework of the North-Atlantic Council. Decisions were made on creating the NATO-s Rapid Response Forces in the nearest future, and the progress of military capability development was reviewed. Ģ.V.Kristovskis reported on the Latvian progress within the NATO-s Reform Plan, highlighting the importance of creating the Brigade structure within the Latvian Armed Forces.

3-4 June 2003 

The State Secretary of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr Māris Riekstiņš participated in the NATO Foreign Ministers Meeting in Madrid. The questions concerning the transformation of the Alliance, its adoption to the new security situation, and NATO involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq were discussed at the special session with participation of the seven invited countries.

3 June 2003 

The Hungarian Parliament unanimously ratified the North Atlantic Treaty Accession Protocols of the seven invited countries, including one of Latvia.

28 -31 May 2003 

The delegation of the US House of Representatives, headed by Douglas Bereuter, the President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, visited Riga and met with the Latvian President, the Minister of Defence and the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Latvian officials expressed their gratitude for the rapid ratification process of the Accession Protocols of the North Atlantic Treaty at the US Senate.

15 May 2003 

The Danish Parliament with the overwhelming majority ratified the accession protocols of the North Atlantic Treaty, including one of Latvia.

13 May 2003 

Latvian Foreign Minister Sandra Kalniete met with Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Petersen. Minister Kalniete thanked Norway for its political and practical support for Latvia's integration into NATO, underscoring the fact that Norway's was the first parliament to ratify Latvia's Protocol of Accession to NATO. On matters of security and the future of NATO, the Ministers agreed that it is the common view of Latvia and Norway that the transatlantic link should be preserved, and the unity of Europe and strong involvement by the United States in the region maintained.

8 May 2003 

The USA Senate voted unanimously to support adding seven invited NATO countries to the Alliance. Being in the Senate Hall during the ratification process Latvian Foreign Minister Sandra Kalniete together with 6 other ministers of the invited countries witnessed the 96-0 vote. Afterwards the ministers met with US President Bush who in his speach admitted that seven invited countries "have demonstrated their desire and ability to defend freedom against its enemies. They have proven themselves to be allies by their action. And now it is time to make them allies by treaty". The President also urged other 16 NATO members "to welcome these new members as quickly as possible".

5 May 2003 

The regular Latvian - Turkish political consultations took place in Ankara. Turkish officials praised Latvia-s achievements in its way to NATO membership and expressed their hope that the Turkish Parliament will ratify the accession protocols of the North Atlantic Treaty until the end of 2003.

5 May 2003 

During a break in the NATO-Ukraine Conference, the ministers of defense from the three Baltic States discussed the participation of the Baltic States in peacekeeping operations in Iraq. The meeting between Ministers Valdis Kristovskis, Linas Linkevicius and Margus Hanson was joined by US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. He explained US plans for peacekeeping in Iraq to his colleagues from the Baltic States 

2 May 2003 

Latvian Minister of Defence Ģirts Valdis Kristovskis participated in a conference for Defence Ministers from NATO and Ukraine in Washington DC. During the conference the preparations of Ukraine for NATO memebrship were discussed focussing on strengthening European security and promoting democratic traditions.

30 April 2003 

Three officers of the Latvian National Armed Forces departed to Kuwait in order to complete preparations for the deployment of 36 Latvian soldiers in the Persian Gulf, expected to arrive in May. One platoon of supply and logistics personal (30 soldiers) and six unexploded ordnance disposal specialists will participate in this mission until November 2003.

30 April 2003 

The Commander of NATO Joint Headquarters Centre Lieutenant General Gotz F.E. Gliemeroth visited Latvia and met with Minister of Defence Ģ. Kristovskis and the Commander of National Armed Forces Rear-Admiral G. Zeibots. During these meetings, issues related to Latvia-s integration into NATO were discussed with specific attention paid to the development of Latvia-s Land Forces.

29 April 2003 

The delegation of the Defence Commission of the German Bundestag met with their counterparts at the Latvian Parliament, the Minister of Defence and the leadership of the Latvian National Armed Forces during its visit to Latvia. The bilateral relationship of Latvia and Germany and cooperation opportunities in the defence and security field were discussed during these meetings.

28 - 29 April 2003 

Antonio Martino, the Defense Minister of Italy, visited Latvia and met with the officials of the country to discuss the European security and defense issues, NATO future and specifically the cooperation opportunities between Latvia and Italy. The ratification procedure of NATO accession protocols were discussed and the Minister assured that the Italian Parliament will support Latvia's membership in NATO.

11 April 2003 

The Norwegian Parliament ratified the NATO accession protocols thus expressing its wish to see new seven members, id est Latvia, in the Alliance.

28 March 2003 

Canada ratified seven ratification protocols, also one of Latvia, thus showing its support to the invited countries accession to the Alliance. Canada is the first country from 18 NATO members to ratify these protocols.

26 March 2003 

The Ambassadors of the NATO member states signed the accession protocols of seven invited countries, also one of Latvia, in NATO HQ, Brussels. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Sandra Kalniete represented Latvia at the signing ceremony. This was the first time in the history when so many accession protocols have been signed at once.

7 March 2003 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Sandra Kalniete sent a letter and the Timetable for Completition of Reforms approved by the Cabinet of the Ministers of Latvia on 4 March 2003 to NATO Secretary General. The specific objectives to be achieved on the political, economic, defence and military, resources, legal and security issues are determined in the Timetable.

28 February 2003 

NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson visited Latvia during his tour of the seven countries currently invited to join the Alliance. Secretary General met with the President and the Ministers of Defence and Foreign Affairs of Latvia. Also, he gave a speech to the Latvian Parliament. The main topics of dicsussion were the ratification process of the Latvian accession protocol and the political amd military issues topical for Latvia.

22 February 2003 

Two doctors, four nurses and two drivers from Latvia departed to Kabula, Afghanistan, to participate in the peace mission for the following half a year. The Latvian team will carry out its duties as a part of the contingent of the Netherlands.

4 February 2003 

Senior Latvian and NATO officials met at NATO HQ in Brussels to discuss Latvia's draft reform plan for integration into NATO. In general the Latvian draft reform plan was positively assessed. Latvia's achievements in societal integration and combating corruption as well as the stable development and dynamic growth of the Latvian economy were particularly commended during the talks. Regarding the defence questions, the modification of the Latvian Defence Concept after joining NATO, issues related to the structure of the armed forces and Latvia's contribution to NATO's joint operations were also discussed.

6 to 8 January 2003 

A group of experts from the NATO Office of Security, led by its Deputy Director Bridget Austin, visited Latvia. The aim of the visit was to appraise the existing situation with respect to information security, and together with Latvian officials to identify further tasks to be fully accomplished within the next 15 months - that is, prior to the 2004 NATO Summit when, in the event of successful ratification of its accession protocol, Latvia will become a full-fledged NATO member state.