Ratified: in Rīga by the Saeima on September 2, 1920 consensus
in Moscow on September 9, 1920.
Ratification documents were exchanged in Moscow on October 4, 1920
Peace Treaty between Latvia and Russia
Rīga, August 11, 1920
WHEREAS Latvia, the Party of the first part, and Russia, the Party of the second part, solemnly wishing to end the state of war that presently exists between them, have agreed to begin peace talks in order to reach a permanent, reliable and just peace and completely resolve all questions arising from the previous possession of Latvia by Russia as soon as possible, to this end have authorized as their representatives:
The Government of the Democratic Republic of Latvia:
Jānis, son of Jānis, Vestmanis,
Pēteris, son of Remberts, Berģis,
Ansis, son of Kristaps, Buševics,
Eduards, son of Andrejs, Kalniņš, and
Kārlis, son of Jēkabs, Pauļuks;
The Government of the Russian Socialist Federative Republic:
Adolph, son of Abraham, Jofe, and
Jakov, son of Stanislav, Haniecky.
AND WHEREAS the aforesaid representatives, having met in Moscow and mutually exchanged their authorizations, duly acknowledge them as being in proper form and valid order, agreed as follows:
The state of war existing between the Parties shall be ended as of the effective date of this Peace Treaty.
Pursuant to the declaration by the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic that all nations shall have the right to free independence not excluding even a complete secession from the State to which they presently belong, and observing the will for an independently existing State as firmly expressed by the Latvian nation, Russia recognizes without objection the independence and sovereignty of the Latvian State and forever renounces all sovereign rights held by Russia in relation to the Latvian nation and land on the basis of the previous State legal regime as well as any international agreements, all of which lose their force and effect for all future time as herein provided. The Latvian nation and land shall have no obligations arising from their previous possession by Russia.
The State border between Latvia and Russia shall extend:
From the Estonian border between the villages of Babina and Vymorsk, through the village of Vymorsk along the river Glubica, through Vashkova, then along the small river Opochna and the rivers Opochka and Vyada to Dubinina, from there by the shortest straight line to the river Kuhva, then along the river Kuhva and its tributary the river Pelega to Umernishi, from there in a straight line to its bend at Malaya Melnica, from there in a straight line to the river Utroja to the letter "v" on the sign "Kailova", along the river Utroja to the river Lzha bend which is located two versts North from the sign "Starina", then along the Lzha river and the administrative border between the Ludza, Rēzekne and Daugavpils regions and the Opochka, Sebezh and Drisa regions to Pazina on the river Osunica, then in a straight line through Lake Beloje, Lake Chornoje, through the lake located between Vasileva and Mosishki through the large farm Saveiki to the delta of the small river that flows into the river Daugava between Koskovci and the large farm and village Novoje Selo, then along the river Daugava to the large farm Shafranovo.
The Parties agree to withdraw their armies to the State border of their territory by the 14th day after ratification of this Peace Treaty.
Note 1. The borders described in this Article are represented by a red line on the map (3 versts = 1 inch) attached to this Article. In the event of a disagreement between this text and the map, the text shall govern.
Note 2. The demarcation of the Latvia–Russia State border and erecting of border signs shall be performed by a special joint border commission comprised of an equal number of members from each Party. When physically marking the border through populated locations, the possession of these locations by the territory of either Party shall be determined by the aforesaid border commission on the basis of ethnographic and economic indications. In cases when, in consideration of ethnographic and economic indications, the aforesaid joint commission marks the border along rivers or lakes, the border shall go through the middle of the river or lake, notwithstanding that the old border extended along one or other river bank or lake shore.
Note 3. Artificial withdrawal of water from border rivers or lakes, if followed by a lowering of their average water level, is not permitted.
Shipping and fishing regulations in these rivers and lakes shall be determined by special agreement; only means of fishing not detrimental to the fish population shall be permitted.
The Parties agree:
1) To forbid the dislocation in their territory of any army, except the army of the Government or such friendly nation with which one of the Parties to this Treaty has entered into a war convention but are not in actual state of war with the other Party to this Treaty; and to forbid within the borders of their territory to contract and mobilize personnel for the armies of such States, organizations and groups whose objective is armed conflict with the other Party to this Treaty.
Note: Concerning the present designations in the Russian army of certain army units that are part of the "Latvian Riflemen Division", both Parties acknowledge that such designations shall have a historical meaning only. These units do not have and shall not have in the future a mainly Latvian contingent and, regardless of their designation, they shall have no relation to the Latvian nation or the Latvian State.
Therefore Latvia shall not consider the retention of such historical designations a breach of this Article.
The Parties shall not create new designations for their army units derived from the geographical or national names of the other Party.
2) Not to permit the establishing and sojourn of any organizations or groups which intend to assume the role of government of all or part of the territory of the other Party to this Treaty, or representatives and officials of organizations and groups intending to overturn the Government of the other Party to this Treaty.
3) To forbid states in actual state of war with the other Party and organizations and groups whose intent is armed conflict with the other Party to this Treaty to use its ports and take across its territory anything that may be used to attack the other Party to this Treaty, namely, the armed forces, war materiel, war machinery and artillery, service corps, engineering and air force materiel of the aforesaid States, organizations and groups.
4) Except in cases provided by international law, to forbid to enter and use the waters of their territory by any warships, cannon and mine boats etc., belonging either to organizations and groups whose intent is armed conflict with the other Party to this Treaty, or to States in a state of war with the other Party to this Treaty and whose intent is to attack the other Party to this Treaty, if such intent becomes known to the Party to this Treaty possessing the said territorial waters and ports.
Both Parties shall mutually forego any claims by the other Party in respect of compensation for their war expenditures, namely the expenditure by the State to wage war, or in respect of compensation for war losses, namely, such losses caused to them or their citizens by war activities, including any kind of requisitions which the other Party has imposed on their respective territories.
Recognizing the need to fairly divide among all the States of the world the obligation to reimburse the losses caused by the World War of 1914 – 1917 to devastated States or their parts within whose territory acts of war occurred, both Parties shall endeavour to reach agreement by all States to establish an international global fund from which funds may be drawn to reimburse the aforesaid losses.
Regardless of the existence of such an international fund, the Parties to this Treaty consider it necessary to provide within the limits of their ability, mutual assistance, and pay for the losses caused by the World War, with Russia and all independent republics established on the territory of the previous Russian Tsarist Empire participating with their own funds, and agree to attempt to reach an agreement to that end among the aforesaid republics.
The prisoners of war of both Parties to this Treaty shall be returned to their homeland without delay. The procedure for exchange of prisoners is set out in the Appendix to this Article.
Note: Prisoners of war shall be considered to be persons taken into captivity and who do not voluntarily serve in the army of the State that has taken them into captivity.
1) The prisoners of war of both States shall be released to their homeland if, with the consent of the State in whose territory they are located, they do not wish to stay within its borders or go to a third State.
2) When releasing prisoners of war, they shall have returned to them documents and personal items taken from them on the orders of the authorities of the State which took them into captivity, as well as any unpaid or as yet uncalculated part of their wages.
3) Each Party to this Treaty agrees to reimburse the costs incurred by the other Party for the maintenance of their citizens taken prisoner and which have not been paid for by the labour of the prisoners of war in State or private enterprises. Such payment shall be made in the currency of the State having taken prisoners.
Note: The cost of maintenance of prisoners of war shall be comprised of the value of the food, clothing and cash issued to the prisoners.
4) Prisoners of war shall be transported by troop train to the State border at the cost of the State that took prisoners; the transfer shall be effected in accordance with a list indicating the prisoner's name, father's name and surname, time he was taken prisoner as well as the army unit in which the prisoner of war was serving at the time he was taken prisoner.
5) Immediately upon ratification of this Peace Treaty a joint commission shall be established made up of three representatives from each Party to this Treaty, for the exchange of war prisoners. It shall be the duty of this commission to supervise the compliance with the provisions of this Appendix, determine the dates, manner and procedure for the return to the homeland, and to determine the applicable costs of the prisoners of war according to the data submitted by the Parties at the time of the exchange.
6) The exchange of interned civilians, military personnel and hostages shall take place at the request of the other Party on the same basis as for prisoners of war above.
Persons living within the borders of Latvia on the date of ratification of this Treaty, as well as refugees living in Russia who themselves or whose parents were registered prior to August 1, 1914 with urban, rural or estate societies within the territory which now makes up the State of Latvia, shall be considered Latvian citizens.
Persons of the same category who are living within the borders of Russia at the time of ratification of this Treaty, other than the category of refugees mentioned above, shall be considered citizens of Russia.
However, all persons who have reached the age of 18 years and live within the territory of Latvia, shall be entitled to forego Latvian citizenship and opt for Russian citizenship; their children under the age of eighteen years and wives, unless the spouses have agreed otherwise, shall follow their citizenship.
Similarly, persons who are to be considered citizens of Russia according to the provisions of the second part of this Article, may by the same date and on the same conditions opt for Latvian citizenship.
Persons who have submitted a notification for such option as well as those persons who follow their citizenship, shall retain their right to movable and immovable property in accordance with the laws in force in the State of residence, but in the event of leaving the State, they may either sell their property or take it with them.
Note 1: Persons who reside within the territory of a third State but are not naturalized there at the time of ratification of this Treaty, and comply with the provisions of the first part of this Article, shall be similarly recognized as citizens of Latvia, but, under the conditions indicated earlier may opt for Russian citizenship.
Note 2: The option rights indicated in this Article shall also be held by those citizens who prior to the 1914-1917 World War and recently had resided within the territory of one of the Parties to this Treaty, but at the time of ratification of this Treaty reside within the territory of the other Party.
In the case of refugees, concerning their property which they were unable to take with them on the basis of the June 12, 1920 refugee re-evacuation agreement, shall hold the same rights provided in this Article for persons entitled to the option, but only to the extent that they are able to prove ownership of such property and that at the time of re-evacuation they actually had the use of it.
Note 3: Both Parties to this Treaty shall extend to the citizens of the other Party and to persons entitled to exercise the option, the right and opportunity to freely leave for their homeland and altogether leave the borders of the other State. Similarly both Parties to this Treaty agree to demobilize both the citizens of the other Party as well as those exercising their option in favour of the other Party immediately upon ratification of this Treaty.
The Refugee Re-evacuation Agreement made between Latvia and Russia on June 12 of this year shall remain in force with the addition that refugees who are citizens of the other Party, in addition to the rights indicated in the aforesaid agreement, shall also hold the rights extended by this Treaty to citizens and those persons exercising their option.
Both Parties to this Treaty shall mutually forego any payments arising from Latvia's earlier possession by Russia and shall recognize that various State property located within the territory of each relevant State shall be the integral property of that State. The right of claim to property of the Russian State which was taken out of the territory of Latvia after August 1, 1914 to a third State, shall be transferred to the Latvian State.
Similarly, any claims rights of Russia against legal entities and third States shall be transferred to the Latvian State insofar as this right concerns the territory of Latvia.
All Russian Crown claims against properties within the borders of the Latvian State shall be transferred to the Latvian State, as well as all claims against citizens of Latvia, but only to the extent they are not extinguished by counterclaims included in the final accounting.
Note: Claims rights against smallholders regarding their debts to the previous Russian Farmers Agrobank or other now nationalized Russian agrobanks and defaulted payments as well as claims rights regarding debts to the previous Russian Nobility Agrobank or other now nationalized Russian agrobanks charged on nobility lands if these lands are transferred to smallholders or the landless, shall not be transferred to the Latvian State but shall be considered destroyed.
The Government of Russia shall transfer documents and files proving the rights indicated in this Article, to the Latvian Government as far as they are actually in its possession. In the event it is not possible to comply with this provision within a year of the ratification of this Treaty, such documents and files shall be deemed lost.
1) The Government of Russia shall at its own cost return to Latvia and transfer to the Latvian Government libraries, archives, museums, art descriptions, teaching aids, documents and other similar property of teaching, educational facilities, scientists, State, religious, public and estate institutions, insofar as the aforesaid items were taken out of Latvia during the 1914 – 1917 World War and are actually located or will become known to be in the possession of the Russian State or public institutions.
Regarding libraries, archives, museums, creations of art and documents which are of important scientific, artistic or historical value to Latvia and which were taken out of Latvia prior to the 1914 – 1917 World War, the Russian Government shall agree to return these insofar as their return does not cause serious loss to Russian archives, libraries, museums or art galleries where they are presently kept.
All matters concerning the return of these items shall be determined by a special joint commission having an equal number of members from both Parties to this Treaty.
2) The Russian Government shall return at its own cost and transfer to the Latvian Government all Court and administrative items; Court and administrative archives, including archives of senior and junior Notaries; feudal branch archives; administrative archives of all religious denominations; border, land use, forest, railway, highway, post-telegraph and other archives and plans; plans, drawings, maps and in general all material of the topographical branch of the Vilnius military district insofar as it relates to the territory of the Latvian State; archives of local branches of the Landlords and Farmers Bank, local branches of the State Bank, and all other credit, co-operative and mutual insurance institutions; similarly, archives and administrative material of private Latvian institutions, insofar as any of the aforesaid items are in fact located or will become known to be in the possession of the Russian State or public institutions.
3) The Russian Government shall return at its own cost and transfer to the Latvian Government for return to their rightful owners various financial documents, such as purchase agreements and obligations, leases, various Promissory Notes etc., including books, papers and documents necessary for accounting and generally documents of importance to the determination of the financial-legal relations of Latvian citizens which were taken out of Latvia to Russia during the 1914 – 1917 World War, insofar as these are actually located or will become known to be in the possession of the Russian State or public institutions. In the event these documents are not returned within two years of the date of ratification of this Treaty, they shall be deemed to be lost.
4) Russia shall hand over from the archives and offices of its central and local institutions those parts which relate directly to regions included in the Latvian State.
1) The Russian Government shall return to Latvia all property of public, charity, cultural and educational institutions taken to Russia during the 1914 – 1917 World War, as well as all bells and attributes of churches and houses of worship of all religious denominations, insofar as these items are in actual possession or will be come known to be in the possession of the Russian State or public institutions.
2) The Russian Government shall return to Latvia all valuables taken to Russia after August 1, 1914 belonging to various Latvian commercial, agro- and small credit institutions such as banks, co-operative credit organizations, savings and loans organizations, town and public treasuries and pawnshops operating within the borders of Latvia, or pledged to them, except gold, precious stones and banknotes, insofar as these items are in actual possession or will become known to be in the possession of the Russian State or public institutions.
3) Regarding payment for Government, Government guaranteed as well as private securities in current use within the borders of Latvia, issued by organizations and institutions whose businesses have been nationalized by the Russian Government, and regarding claims by Latvian citizens against the Russian State and nationalized institutions, Russia agrees to recognize that Latvia, Latvian citizens and institutions are entitled to all relief, rights and advantages which it had directly or indirectly given or shall give to any other country or its citizens, organizations and institutions. In the event securities or financial documents cannot be produced, the Russian Government shall recognize, applying this Paragraph of Article XII, persons submitting proof that their papers were evacuated during the War to be the holders of such securities etc.
4) Regarding deposits in savings banks, sums of deposits, bonds and other monies paid to the previous State and Court institutions, insofar as these deposits and sums belong to Latvian citizens, and, similarly, regarding deposits and sums under various designations paid to branches of the previous State Bank or nationalized or liquidated credit facilities, insofar as such deposits and sums belong to citizens of Latvia, the Russian Government agrees to recognize to the benefit of the citizens of Latvia all rights which in their time were given to the citizens of Russia and therefore permit citizens of Latvia who were unable to make use of their rights because of the occupation, make use of them now. In satisfying these claims, it shall account to the benefit of the citizens of Latvia that part which Russian currency has lost of its purchasing power, calculating from the moment of the end of occupation of Latvia – September 3, 1917, to the moment of final payment.
5) Regarding valuables and items kept or which were kept on bank premises or in their safes, insofar as these valuables and items belong to the citizens of Latvia, and insofar as these items are in actual possession or will become known to be in the possession of the Russian State or public institutions, the provisions of Paragraph 4 of this Article shall be applied. The same provisions shall be applied also to the valuables and items of the citizens of Latvia kept in Latvian credit facilities and their safes evacuated after August 1, 1914.
Note: The sums, valuables and property mentioned in this Article shall be handed to the Latvian Government to be returned to their rightful owners.
The Russian Government shall transfer to the Latvian Government to be delivered to their rightful owners all property evacuated to Russia during the 1914 – 1917 World War and belonging to Latvian towns, public, legal and natural persons, insofar as these items are in actual possession or will become known to be in the possession of the Russian State or public institutions.
Note 1: In case of doubt, Latvian Joint Stock companies and corporation shall be deemed to be those where the majority of shares or parts were owned by Latvian citizens until the relevant order of the Russian Government was issued to nationalize industry.
Note 2. This Article shall not apply to capital, deposits and valuables kept at branches of the State Bank or private banks, credit facilities and savings banks within the territory of Latvia.
1) Regarding property of the Post Office, Telegraph and Telephone evacuated from Latvia to Russia during the 1914 – 1917 World War, Russia undertakes to return to Latvia and hand over to the Latvian Government such amount of that property as corresponds to the true economic and cultural needs of Latvia as an independent State, insofar as such evacuated property is in actual possession or will become known to be in the possession of the Russian State or public institutions.
2) Regarding floating stock and facilities, as well as banks serving Latvian ports, evacuated from Latvia to Russia during the 1914 – 1917 World War, Russia undertakes to return to Latvia and hand over to the Latvian Government such amount of that property as corresponds to the true need for ports and their facilities of Latvia as an independent State, insofar as these items are in actual possession or will be come known to be in the possession of the Russian State or public institutions.
3) Regarding railway stock and facilities of railway workshops evacuated from Latvia to Russia during the 1914 – 1917 World War, Russia undertakes to return to Latvia and hand over to the Latvian Government such amount of that property as corresponds to the true economic needs of Latvia as an independent State, insofar as these items are in actual possession or will be come known to be in the possession of the Russian State or public institutions.
In order to determine in detail the quantities and amounts of property mentioned in this Article to be re-evacuated, and determine deadlines for their return, immediately upon ratification of this Treaty a joint Latvian–Russian commission shall be established, comprised of an equal number from each Party. This commission, when determining quantities and amounts of property to be re-evacuated, shall consider matters from the economic situation in effect prior to the 1914 – 1917 World War in regions which pursuant to this Treaty make up the Latvian State, and deducting all that which has served the Russian general State industry and Russian general State transit needs, in such manner shall determine the true needs of present Latvia as an independent State, nevertheless taking into consideration the general levelling of the economic living standards.
In order to comply with the provisions of Articles X, XI, XII, XIII and XIV, the Russian Government undertakes to give to the Latvian Government all notes and information in relation to it and provide every assistance in locating the properties, archives, documents etc., to be returned.
Russia may, by mutual agreement with Latvia, return the property to be re-evacuated to Latvia mentioned in the above Articles of this Treaty in kind or the appropriate equivalent.
On account of the valuables to be returned to Latvia in this manner, Russia shall pay to Latvia within two months of the ratification of this Treaty, four million Rubles in gold by way of an advance.
In consideration of the devastation of Latvia during the 1914 – 1917 World War, Russia shall:
1) release Latvia from all liability for debts and various other commitments to Russia, including those arising from banknotes, promissory notes on interest, promissory notes on interest from Russian issue series and certificates, external and internal loans of the Russian State, guarantees to various institutions and businesses and loans guaranteed by the latter, etc. All such claims of Russian creditors, insofar as they relate to Latvia, shall be made to Russia only.
2) In order to assist Latvian farmers to renew buildings destroyed during this war, give Latvia priority right to cut forests to an extent of 100,000 desetinas (1:1,0925 ha) as close to the Latvian border, railways and rafting rivers as possible; furthermore, conditions of this concession shall be drawn up by a joint Latvian–Russian commission, to be comprised of an equal number from each Party immediately upon ratification of this Treaty.
1) The Parties to this Treaty shall immediately upon ratification of this Treaty sign trade and transit agreements, consular and post-telegraph conventions and a convention on dredging the river Daugava.
2) The Parties to this Treaty agree that, until the signing of the trade and transit agreements, their mutual economic relations shall be established on the following principles:
a) both Parties shall grant to each other most favourable nation status;
b) no taxes or dues shall be levied on goods in transit passing through the territories of the Parties to this Treaty;
c) freight tariffs on transit goods shall not be higher than freight tariffs on similar goods of local shipments.
3) In the event a citizen of one Party to this Treaty dies within the territory of the other Party, his entire property shall be handed to the consular or relevant representative of the State to which the person leaving the property belonged, in order that he may deal with it according to the laws of his country.
Both Parties to this Treaty agree to do everything in their power to protect the safety of commercial ships sailing on their waters, providing necessary pilots, renewing lights, putting up protective signs and, until such time as the sea is cleared of all mines, use specific means to mark off such mine fields.
Both Parties stand willing to clear the Baltic Sea of all mines, to which purpose a specific agreement shall be made by both interested Parties; in the event this fails to happen, the portion of participation for each Party shall be determined by a Court of Arbitration.
Diplomatic and consular relations between the Parties to this Treaty shall be established immediately upon ratification of this Treaty.
Following ratification of this Treaty, the Russian Government shall release citizens of Latvian and those opting for Latvian citizenship, and the Latvian Government – citizens of Russia and those opting for Russian citizenship, both military personnel and civilians, from all punishment in all political and disciplinary cases. In the event a verdict in such cases has not yet been handed down, such cases shall be dismissed.
This amnesty does not apply to persons who have committed the above actions after signing of this Treaty.
Persons under investigation or under Court procedures, or arrested and charged with having committed criminal acts or violations before ratification of this Treaty as well as persons serving sentence for same, shall be extradited upon demand by their Government without delay. In cases of extradition, all relevant investigation and Court material shall be forwarded with them.
Similarly, both Parties to this Treaty shall also release their own citizens from punishment for criminal acts committed for the benefit of the other Party prior to signing of this Treaty.
Note 1: Insofar as certain persons are to be pardoned or extradited pursuant to the provisions of this Article, sentences handed down in cases of said crimes and violations, shall not be executed from the time of signing of this Treaty.
Note 2: This Article shall not apply to the citizens of Russia and those opting for Russian citizenship who had taken part in the April 16, 1919 conspiracy and the Bermont attack.
Matters of public and private law which may arise between the Parties, as well as specific issues between both States or between the States and citizens of the other State shall be decided by a special joint commission comprised of an equal number of members from each Party which shall be established immediately upon ratification of this Treaty and whose contingent, rights and duties shall be determined in an instruction following the agreement of both States.
This Treaty is made in Latvian and Russian. When translating, both texts shall be deemed to be authentic.
This Treaty shall be ratified and shall come into force upon ratification, unless the Treaty itself provides differently. Exchange of ratification documents shall take place in Moscow.
Wherever the moment of ratification is used in this Treaty as a deadline, it shall be understood to mean the moment of exchange of ratification documents.
IN WITNESS THEREOF, the duly authorized persons of both States have signed this Treaty by their own hand and have certified same with their seals.
The original is made in two copies.
Made in Moscow, completed and signed in Rīga on the 11th day of August, in the year One thousand nine hundred and twenty
Published (in Latvian):
1. Valdības Vēstnesis (Government Herald) September 14, 1920.
2. Miera līgums starp Latviju un Krieviju (Peace Treaty between Latvia and Russia) [Rīga, 1920] 1 - 8 pp.
3. Latvijas okupācija un aneksija 1939-1940: Dokumenti un materiāli.(The Occupation and Annexation of Latvia 1939 – 1940. Documents and material) Edited by I.Grava-Kreituse, I.Feldmanis, J.Goldmanis, A.Stranga. Rīga, 1995. No 1, 36 - 50 pp
4. Dokumenti stāsta. Latvijas buržuāzijas nākšana pie varas (Documents tell. Latvian bourgeoisie coming to power). Rīga: Zinātne, 1988. No 146, 259 - 272 pp.
5. See Russian text: Документы внешней политики СССР (Documents on USSR domestic policy). т.3. Москва, 1959. 101-116 pp.