US – Baltic Co-operation

02.12.2014. 19:09

US - Baltic Co-operation


(In Latvian)

US-Baltic Partnership Charter

Long-term cooperation between Latvia and the United States of America was defined on January 16, 1998 when the US- Baltic Partnership Charter was signed. The aim of the Charter is fix the mutual political commitment of the Baltic States and the US to assist each other as the Baltic States reintegrate themselves completely into transatlantic political, economic, security and defense organizations.

The Charter has become an essential component of US policy in Northern Europe. The US Northern Europe Initiative seeks to develop and assist closer cooperation between the Nordic countries, the Baltic States and Russia, as well as between the Baltic States themselves.

Structures for Cooperation

The principal structure of cooperation between the four countries is the Partnership Commission.

The commission meets once a year, and during these sessions bilateral issues are discussed, as well as results in the economic, military and other fields; moreover, the progress of the work of the Charter is reviewed.

Since its inception, the Commission has met in:

8 July, 1998, Riga, Latvia

16 July 1999, Washington

7 June 2000, Tallin, Estonia

10 December 2001, Washington

Two Bilateral Working groups have been established under the Commission:

Bilateral Economic Working Group

The purpose of this group is to find ways to encourage US investment and two-way trade, and to assist in the economic development of Latvia. The working group meets once a year.

Meetings of the group have taken place:

26 May 1998, Washington

11 March 1999, Washington

6 April 2000, Riga

22 May 2001, Washington

Bilateral Working Group on Defense and Military Issues

The purpose of this working group is to strengthen cooperation between Latvia and the US in defense and military spheres and to assist the Latvian armed forces in their development and bring them closer to NATO standards. This working group was created well before the Charter was signed. It meets once a year and the last meeting was in Washington on 20-21 March 2000. The next meeting is scheduled for the spring of 2002.

Cooperation on Defense Issues

Cooperation with the United States is one of Latvia's defense policy priorities. That cooperation rests on the memorandum of understanding that was signed in 1995 between the Latvian Ministry of Defense and the US Department of Defense, with respect to cooperation in the defense and military fields. The political, financial and technical material assistance provided by the United States in the development of Latvia's defense system and in furthering Baltic States cooperation has been significant.

To Latvia is accredited the US Defense and Naval Attaché Col. Jeffrey Seng (11.06.99) resident in Riga and US Air force Attaché Michael Sheen (29.09.99) resident in Stockholm.

Col. Valdis Matiss is the military Attaché accredited in the United States.

A major role was played by Major General H. Kievenaar's findings and recommendations for the long-term development of the Latvian defense system. Those recommendations have become an integral part of the Latvia's defense planning and form the back-bone of its Membership Action Plan.

Latvian-US cooperation in the military field takes place:

1. In the field of training - IMET program (International Military Education and Training)

2. Technical Assistance - FMF program (Foreign Military Financing) - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, a total of $21 million for 2002; $23.5 million for 2003.

3. In the context of Military Liaison Group and Partnership for Peace, the United States supports Latvia's participation in PfP training exercises and in their planning.

Cooperation also takes place in the context of the development of:

BALTBAT (Baltic Battalion)

BALTRON (Baltic Naval Squadron)

BALTNET (Baltic Air Surveillance Network)

BALTDEFCOL (Baltic Defense College)

Cooperation on Legal Issues

The United States has provided a significant investment in the development of justice matters - technical support, and expert consultations with respect to actual legal issues. With the assistance of the United States Latvian representatives have been given the opportunity to participate in conferences and educational courses.

In 2000, the FBI organized seminars for Latvian policemen and prosecutors with respect to issues relating to internal control, investigations and anti-corruption techniques.

On September 20, 2001, the US and Latvian governments signed a memorandum of understanding that would lead to the establishment of a Anti-Corruption Bureau and in the reform of the criminal process in Latvia. The US would provide funding in the sum of $US 255, 000 a year.

Cooperation is on-going between the Latvian Incarceration Agency and the US Prison Association and the Institute for Corrections, and other organizations that provide information, personnel exchanges and attendance at conferences dealing with correction issues.

The Naturalization Authority has received considerable support from the US with respect to the implementation of projects related to social integration. In preparation are language training materials for those applying for citizenship.

In September 2001, implementation of a public information program began, whose object is to inform the public about citizenship issues and to increase the rate of naturalization.

Economic cooperation

The United States of America is one of Latvia's most important economic partners, and a significant investor in Latvia's economy.

Latvia's trade turnover with the US in the first 9 months of 2001 was $US 84.5 million (2.1% of Latvia's total trade turnover) Latvia exported to the US goods worth $US 35.5 million (2.4% of total exports) Latvia imported from the US goods worth $US 49 million (1.9% of total imports).

Activities of the NATO integration process.


The Latvian President and the Prime Minister of Latvia met with the delegation of the US Congress


The Minister of Foreign Affairs meeting with the US Ambassador to NATO


The Euro-Atlantic Community: Global Challenges and Future Prospects - Address by H. E. Vaira Vike-Freiberga, President of Latvia, at the Baker Institute, Houston, 7 February, 2002


NATO Assistant Secretary General welcomes Latvia's progress towards NATO


Improvement of NATO-Russia relations to facilitate NATO enlargement process


Minister of Foreign Affairs: Latvia's membership in NATO is in our own hands


NATO countries voice support to Latvia's membership in NATO and underscore that 11 September terrorist attacks in USA will not influence NATO enlargement process


Minister of Foreign Affairs meets Deputy Commander in Chief of United States European Command


The Polish population of Latvia and the USA supports Latvia's integration in NATO and the European Union


Latvia and other NATO candidate countries express solidarity with the USA


The Minister of Foreign Affairs has a meeting with the U.S. National Defence University teaching staff and representatives


NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe praises Latvia's achievements in the NATO integration process


Minister of Foreign Affairs meets the Ambassador of the USA


Latvia welcomes President Bush's vision of Europe whole and free expressed during his speech in Warsaw


Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia


The USA informs the Baltic States on the plans and development of the missile defence system


The USA helps Latvia to control export of strategic goods


The State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs meets the Chairman of the U.S. Committee on NATO


The enlargement of NATO is in the interests of security of the whole Europe


Mr Indulis Berzins to talk over the enlargement of NATO at the meeting with the U.S. Secretary of State


Chairman of the U.S. Committee on NATO to visit Latvia


U.S. Senators voice support to the admission of the Baltic States to NATO


Latvia Welcomes US Senators' Support to Further NATO Enlargement


The State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs meets the US Deputy Secretary of State


The Visit of State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the US


The Minister of Foreign Affairs meets the Senior Foreign Policy Advisor of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee


The Foreign Minister meets the U.S. Congress Councilors and representatives of the Potomac Foundation


Latvia is satisfied over the decision of NATO


[TF] No. 6, 16 June 2000 [USA]


The visit of the US State Department representative to the Foreign Ministry


The on-going visit of the Foreign Minister to Washington


The Minister of Foreign Affairs meets Mr. Strobe Talbott in the United States of America


The Minister of Foreign Affairs going on a working visit to the USA


Latvian Foreign Minister has received a letter from the US Secretary of State


Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia meets with Lloyd Doggett, member of the US House of Representatives


Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia meets US Assistant Secretary of State on Europe Affairs


Visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia in Washington


Visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia in Washington


US-Latvian economic consultations concluded


Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Valdis Birkavs receives a letter from the US Deputy Secretary of State


Visit of the Secretary of State of the Foreign Ministry of Latvia


Countdown to the Washington Summit of Nato: a Perspective From Latvia - an article by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Valdis Birkavs (Special Submission to National Committee on American Foreign Policy), December, 1998


United States Will Continue Working to Involve Latvia Into West European Structures


Address by the President of the Republic of Latvia, Mr. Guntis Ulmanis, to the Meeting of the Baltic-US Partnership Commission, Riga, July 8, 1998


On July 8th, 1998, in Riga the first session of the US-Baltic Partnership Commission will be held


Address by the President of the Republic of Latvia, Mr.Guntis Ulmanis, to the Council of Foreign Relations


"Baltic Security - The President's Perspective" - Address by the President of the Republic of Latvia, Mr.Guntis Ulmanis, to the Carnegie Endowment, Washington


State Secretary Meets U.S. Presidental Aide Stephen I. Flanagan


Foreign Ministry State Secretary Visits the US


Draft US - Baltic Charter Presented to Latvia


The US Defence Security Assistance Agency Grants Latvia 1.500.000 USD