Latvia

  • The US Should Not See Europe as a Competitor, Latvian Prime Minister Argues

    Amidst rising discord between the United States and Europe over trade, financial contributions to NATO, and the threat from Iran, US policy makers should stop viewing Europe as a competitor, but rather as a friend whose prosperity and unity helps the United States, Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš said on July 10.

    “The [European Union] is the United States’ most natural ally,” Kariņš said at an Atlantic Council event on July 10 in Washington. “It is a friend that you don’t have to gain…[but] it is a friend that you can lose,” he warned. “Europe without the United States and the United States without Europe are only half [powers]. Combined, [they are] the leading power in the world to protect these three fundamental [principles] that too many people take for granted: freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.”


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  • Latvia Struggles to Form a Government

    In the early hours of October 7, it became clear that Latvia had followed in the footsteps of many of its European neighbors. The newly-elected parliament was fragmented, the ruling coalition had lost its majority, and populist parties enjoyed significant gains. Latvian voters demonstrated widespread disillusionment with politicians and politics in general—compared to 2014, turnout in the parliamentary elections on October 6 dropped by nearly five percentage points, a record low since the country regained its independence twenty-seven years ago. Most worryingly, all this happened amidst healthy economic growth.   

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  • The Atlantic Council Stands with Latvia - and Always Will

    At the Atlantic Council, we are proud of the work that we have done with our friends from Latvia over the years. Our core mission is to promote constructive American global leadership and international engagement, built upon the solid foundation of the transatlantic alliance – the United States’ most important international relationship. The Atlantic Council and its staff believe firmly that the United States is stronger with its allies than it is alone. We staunchly defend the value of NATO, promote continued American engagement in Europe, and push American policymakers to remain steadfast in our commitment to defend our allies – every single one of them.

    We are surprised and disappointed to see that record ignored. Recent reports have suggested that the Atlantic Council is allowing itself to be influenced by those who do not have the best interests of Latvia at heart. Such claims are misplaced and impugn the good work of our team.

    Atlantic Council staff are among the most outspoken and most consistent advocates for the Baltic countries. Our publications, events, media appearances, and ground-breaking digital forensics work have sought to inform Washington policy makers of the threats facing the Baltic nations from Moscow and argue for strengthening America’s commitment to defend our friends in the region. The team associated with our institution has probably done more than any other to drive home the nature of the threat posed by a revisionist Kremlin, the breadth of tools used in this hybrid war, and the best means to defend our societies.

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  • Nordenman Quoted in Defense News on NATO's New Baltic Command Structure


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  • 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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