Latvia, one of three Baltic States, remains a staunch ally of the United States.Latvia currently holds the presidency of the European Union and as such plays a leadership role in the European response to Russian actions in Ukraine. Latvia is also a NATO ally.
In remarks prior to his January 29 meeting with Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said, "Let me affirm, as clearly as I can. . .on behalf of President[Barack] Obama and the United States, that our Article 5 obligations are absolutely rock-solid."
Indeed, in an effort to demonstrate U.S. commitment to the defense of its Allies, the U.S. and our NATO Allies have implemented a persistent rotational air, land, and sea presence in NATO’s east.
Under Operation Atlantic Resolve, U.S. Army forces have deployed to Latvia, as well as to Estonia, Lithuania and Poland to conduct land forces training. U.S. and Latvian troops participate in a range of other joint multilateral exercises. Latvian soldiers and defense personnel also received technical training and strategic education in the U.S.
As E.U. Presidency holder, Latvia is in a good position to advance the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or T-TIP. This trade pact aims to boost economic growth in the United States and in the EU and add to the more than 13 million U.S. and EU jobs already supported by transatlantic trade and investment.
The U.S. and Latvia also share interests in promoting democracy, development and the rule of law in Central Asia.Through the Emerging Donors Challenge Fund, the United States and Latvia are co-financing a project in Uzbekistan to enhance export control and border security capabilities. Through the Community of Democracies, the United States and Latvia are co-financing a project to promote human rights in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Latvia has also taken a leading role in encouraging democratic reforms in the EU Eastern Partnership countries, which include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.
The U.S. and Latvia are not only bound together by strong NATO commitments to common defense and security but to principles of democracy, human rights, and economic freedom. As such, we strongly support Latvia’s current accession process to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.