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05.03.2023 10:42
Foreign relations of Latvia Antworten

Latvia is an active participant in the international arena - the country has a number of embassies, is a member of various international organizations and participates in decision-making on international affairs at various levels. The state organization responsible for maintaining these relations is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia.

Being located in Europe and having limited political resources, Latvia mainly concentrates on building relations with the countries of the Northern Hemisphere, especially those that belong to the Western society. Latvia's foreign relations are also influenced by its past - a couple of decades ago, the country was part of the USSR, and this context affects Latvia's relations with all other former Soviet countries.

Nearest political neighbors
Latvia has the closest political ties with neighboring countries and countries with which it shares a common history. In this context, the term "political ties" does not necessarily mean alliances or trade networks, but rather an active political dialogue and special attention to each other's political landscape.

Historically, Latvia's closest political ties have been with Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Germany and, to a lesser extent, Sweden. Culturally, Lithuania is the closest neighbor to Latvia, which has always been the basis for cooperation, trade and political alliances. Estonia is also a Baltic country (the others being Lithuania and Latvia itself), sharing much of Latvia's history due to geographical proximity. The three Baltic states were further brought closer together through joint efforts to gain independence from the USSR, marked by such cultural-political events as the Baltic Way - a 675.5 km human chain that crossed in a move to promote independence across extended to all three countries.

With Latvia being a major trading hub on the Baltic Sea thanks to its geographic position (which nowadays is used as part of Latvia's logistic system), Sweden, Russia (its earlier incarnations) and Germany have all competed for power over the country. Germany was the first to conquer the territories of modern Latvia, spreading its culture and political power across the region. Because of this, Germany has historically been viewed as a political enemy by Latvia. Today, when both Germany and Latvia are member states of the EU, the political discourse has shifted and Germany is seen as one of the allies.

Similar to Germany, Sweden has historically conquered parts of the territory of modern Latvia. However, unlike Germany, these times are seen in a more positive light as Sweden improved Latvia's economic and social situation. Today Sweden, like Germany, is an EU ally of Latvia.

Russia's political influence on Latvia has had the most recent and lasting impact on the country. Latvia was a part of the Russian Empire for a long time, and later the country was absorbed into the USSR, and Latvia regained its independence only in 1991. This turned Russia-Latvia relations into an active political discourse, with Latvia viewing Russia as a political opponent. This view has become even clearer since Latvia joined the EU and became an active political supporter of European politics.

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