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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Sunday, 17.02.2019, 22:52

New publication by the Latvian Institute of International Affairs assesses new tendencies in Latvia-US relations

BC, Riga, 26.05.2016.Print version
Experts, who have authored the new collection of articles on Latvian-US relations, offered by the Latvian Institute of International Affairs, not only highlight both countries’ strategic cooperation on security issues but also call for greater attention to economics and the role of the diaspora. The publication assesses the achievements of the last four years and offers recommendations for the future. The new book will be freely available at the presentation and expert discussion taking place on May 26 at the hotel Bergs, as well as online.

Relations between Latvia and the USA have traditionally been portrayed as strategic partnership, the cornerstone of which is security cooperation. While planning this new research publication, the Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA) asked: what are the last years’ trends, in which areas cooperation can be expanded further, and what other factors have to be taken into account in planning? These questions have been answered by Latvian and US experts whose chapters are brought together in the new analytical collection titled Latvia and the United States: Revisiting a Strategic Partnership in a Transforming Environment.


The publication demonstrates that the relations between the two countries have become increasingly multifaceted over the last years, and in numerous fields, Latvia would benefit from an even closer cooperation with the US.


In the wake of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, the strategic partnership on security issues is becoming even stronger; Latvia and the other Baltic states enjoy bipartisan support in the US. At the same time, the authors identify several strategies that can prove very useful in the future, starting from joint, meticulously planned investments in Latvia’s defense capabilities and infrastructure, to a new maritime strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.


The US at present is not one of the priority markets for Latvia, but opening of economic representations in his country and a smart strategy for capitalizing on benefits expected from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could significantly improve trade. Cooperation on energy issues can become truly strategic thanks to expected imports of the US liquefied natural gas and Latvia’s interest to become a regionalы hub. Moreover, Latvia, by using its highly developed infrastructure, can become a regional leader on developing new transit routes.


While Latvia enjoys recognition in the US cultural and sports arena, and the Latvian diaspora plays an exceptionally important role in strengthening relations, it is important to further expand the people-to-people dialogue and promote public discussions in both countries.


“This book reviews not only the present, constructive cooperation, but also the challenges that both Latvia and the US have to face in the changing global environment, and it is important that there is fertile soil for dialogue”, says one of the editors, Andris Sprūds. The publication will be interesting to both policy-makers, especially in the view of the upcoming US presidential elections, and to the wider public. Dr.hist. Valters Ščerbinskis additionally highlights “engagement of both young and promising, and of already experienced experts”; the wide participation of US experts should be underscored here.


Presentation of the book and public discussion on Latvia-US cooperation in the realms of security and defense will take place on May 26 from 16:00-18:00 at the Hotel Bergs (Elizabetes iela 83/85, 6th floor, Glass Hall), in English. It will gather such experts as the State Secretary of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Andrejs Pildegovičs, Leo Michel from the Atlantic Council, a US think tank, and the President of the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Aigars Rostovskis.


This project is carried out by the Latvian Institute of International Affairs in cooperation with SJSC Latvian Railway, the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia to the United States of America and SIA Pata AB, the European Crabbing Association, and the American Latvian Association.


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