Latvia in NATO - Five Years Experience
In few months time the transatlantic society will celebrate 60th anniversary of NATO and Latvia will celebrate also its first 5 years in NATO. Therefore this is a good time for evaluation, how successful have these years been and is there really a reason to celebrate. A good way to attempt to see the ‘big picture’ of these 5 years within NATO is to look back at the expectations Latvia had since mid 90-ties and participation in ‘Partnership for Peace’ (PfP) and especially the expectations Latvia had at the moment of joining Alliance in 2004, and to compare all these expectations to the current situation in 2009 to see- where were we then and where are we now.
Since Latvia regained its independence it set a strong course of foreign policy towards the West, towards the EU and NATO. This was the most important goal of foreign policy, which was also the goal of security policy, domestic policy etc., as NATO is not just a military alliance, but also political platform and has also economic impacts. Throughout the period before joining the NATO and at the moment of joining, Latvia’s purpose was such security level as it never had before yet, a total defence against possible exercises of Russian geopolitical interests. Along with that came high expectations of rising political importance in international playground, being a considerable and respectable player in global politics and decision making.
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