Political Relations

02.12.2014. 19:09

The relations between Latvia and the United Kingdom have historically been close and have continued to develop fruitfully in view of the common aim of a united, economically and politically stable Europe. The mutual interest in promoting bilateral cooperation is facilitated by the membership of both countries in the European Union and NATO. The UK's political and practical support to Latvia's integration into the EU has served to broaden the scope of relations in the fields of public administration reform, enhancement of the education system, society integration process, justice and home affairs. The UK has significantly contributed to Latvia's integration into NATO by providing support for the implementation of bilateral and multilateral projects in the defence sector. The United Kingdom is also a significant trade partner of Latvia.

After the restoration of Latvia's independence, the first Ambassador of Latvia to the UK Mr. Janis Lusis was accredited in 1992. The first British Ambassador to newly independent Latvia, Richard Samuel, started working in Latvia on 8 October 1991. The current Latvian Ambassador to the UK Mr Andris Teikmanis arrived in London in May 2013. Latvia has four Honorary Consuls in the UK: Mr Andris Taurins (in Wales since March 2002), Mr John McGregor (Scotland, since 2007), Dr William O'Hare (Northern Ireland, since June 2010), and Peter Michael Mathews CMG (West Midlands, since 2012).

2006 was particularly significant for the relation between Latvia and UK, when Latvian President, Vaira Vike-Freiberga visited the UK on 9-13 July as a Guest of Her Majesty's Government. Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh paid their first State Visit to Latvia on 18-19 October 2006.

Latvian Foreign minister visited the UK in 2008 and October 2012, while and the Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis paid a visit to the UK in January 2011 to take part in the UK Nordic-Baltic Summit devoted to challenges facing Northern European economies. In 2012, during London Olympics and Paralympics, UK was visited by President Andris Bērziņš, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Welfare and Minister of Finance. British Prime Minister David Cameron visited Riga in February 2013 to attend Northern Future Forum.