Latvia

  • A Blueprint for US Strategy in the Baltics

    Since regaining independence, the Baltic states have transformed themselves into some of Europe’s most dynamic economies with some of the fastest growth rates in Europe. Baltic societies are highly digitized and connected to the outside world. They are also committed to democratic values of openness, human rights, and rule of law.

    Today, these accomplishments face a new test emerging from a Kremlin intent on sowing division and mistrust, undermining our democratic societies, and intimidating our allies. 

    The Baltic nations have transformed from captive nations to frontline allies. I believe that we are entering a historic window of opportunity in which we have the possibility and perhaps the responsibility to consolidate the US-Baltic partnership and the security of our alliance.

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  • Trump Tells Baltic Leaders He is Tough on Russia

    US President Donald J. Trump has assured leaders of the three Baltic States—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—that no one has been tougher on Russia than him. He also said that he thinks he could have a “very good relationship” with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Trump made the comments in a joint press conference with the three Baltic presidents—Kersti Kaljulaid of Estonia, Dalia Grybauskaitė of Lithuania, and Raimonds Vējonis of Latvia—at the White House in Washington on April 3.

    The Atlantic Council will host all three Baltic leaders for a dinner on April 3. US National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster will also attend the event.

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  • The Curious Case of Latvia's Banking Scandal

    Two developments have rocked the Latvian banking system in recent days. Last week, the country’s third-largest bank, ABLV Bank, was accused by the United States Treasury Department of systematic money laundering and aiding in the circumvention of the sanctions imposed on North Korea. Separately, Latvian Central Bank Governor Ilmars Rimsevics, one of the longest-serving central bank heads in Europe, was held over the weekend by Latvia’s anti-corruption authority after he was accused by officials at Norvik Banka of having demanded a bribe. As of now, the two developments appear unrelated.

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  • NATO Chief says Allies Concerned about Russian Phone Jamming

    NATO allies have raised concerns about what they call Russia's use of a kind of electronic warfare during military exercises last month that jammed some phone networks, alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday.
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  • US and NATO Allies Grapple with Countering Russia’s Cyber Offensive

    NATO’s long-standing tactical advantage on the battlefield could be at risk as cyber adversaries probe for weak points in the U.S.-led security pact’s networks, a top alliance official said.
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  • Time for a Cyber NATO?

    Beyond elections, cyberwarfare has made traditional rules governing armed conflict irrelevant.
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  • Twelve Myths about Change in Ukraine

    Most Ukrainians will tell you that “nothing has changed” since the Euromaidan Revolution. Meanwhile, most Ukrainian analysts bemoan that Ukraine’s elites are resisting change and that, unless Ukraine changes more quickly, the country will backtrack and be lost. And everyone seems to agree that no change is possible unless corruption is fully eliminated.

    These views rest on simplifications, distortions, and misunderstandings.

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  • More Solidarity with Ukraine Needed, Say Speakers at the Kyiv Security Forum

    The Tenth Kyiv Security Forum—an important foreign affairs conference conducted annually by the Open Ukraine Foundation—occurred on April 6-7. Headed by Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and his wife Terezia, the conference underscored an important message: the need for the West to stay engaged and maintain security in the borderlands between Russia and Central Europe, particularly in Ukraine, the most important country in Eastern Europe between the Baltic and Black seas.

    This year, the tenth anniversary event was titled "Old Conflicts and New Trends: Strategies for a Changing World.” For Ukraine today, security challenges are defined by the continuing war in the east, the occupation of Crimea, the new US administration’s efforts to find its own voice, and Europe’s ongoing crises and weaknesses.

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  • Private Dinner with Latvian Ambassador Andris Teikmanis

    On February 15, 2017, the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative hosted a private dinner with H.E. Andris Teikmanis, ambassador of Latvia to the United States, for an invitation-only discussion that was attended by transatlantic leaders from both the public and private sector.

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  • Six Outrageous Lies Russian Disinformation Peddled about Europe in 2016

    Russian disinformation is working overtime to undermine European democracies. Much of the disinformation in 2016 came from original Russian sources that presented poorly digested information designed to provoke and to push an agenda that the Kremlin finds favorable. It aims to disconnect ordinary European citizens from supranational EU institutions and national politicians.

    With key elections in the Netherlands, Germany, and France this year, it is clear that Russia will try to use the refugee and migrant crisis that has battered Europe for its own foreign policy goals. By promoting the idea that the EU and local politicians no longer listen to ordinary people, encouraging inter-state disagreements among EU member-states, and implying that Europeans cannot help Ukraine, the Kremlin aims to weaken the EU’s internal cohesion, force it to drop sanctions, and accept Russia’s hegemony over its former republics in Eastern Europe.

    This assault can have serious long-term consequences for Europe, which may soon have hardline anti-EU parties and politicians in power. Thus, identifying major narratives in Moscow’s disinformation campaign and debunking fake news and sensationalist false stories is crucial in the battle to combat foreign propaganda and disinformation.

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