Hardijs Baumanis, Latvia’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan, has passed away

07.04.2015. 22:48

With deep sorrow, we announce that Hardijs Baumanis, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Latvia to the Republic of Azerbaijan, died suddenly on 6 April in Baku.

Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia extend sincere condolences to the family and friends of Hardijs Baumanis over his untimely death caused by health problems.

Hardijs Baumanis was a devoted and experienced diplomat who had been working in the Latvian Foreign Service since 1992, and contributing significantly to its formation and strengthening. 

Hardijs Baumanis was born on 10 December 1967. He had been serving as Ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan since September 2010. Before his posting to Baku, Hardijs Baumanis served as the Ambassador of Latvia to Lithuania, Latvia’s General Consul in Saint Petersburg, Latvia’s non-resident Ambassador to India, Foreign Policy Advisor to President Guntis Ulmanis, and worked at the Latvian Embassies in Russia and Denmark.

During his service at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hardijs Baumanis has received the Order of the Dannebrog, the Commander’s rank (Denmark), the medal of the Baltic Assembly and countless expressions of gratitude from cooperation partners in Latvia and abroad.

To commemorate the Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia to the Republic of Azerbaijan, Hardijs Baumanis, Books of Condolences have been opened for signing:

  • at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – on 8 April from 2pm to 4pm; and on 9 April from 10am to 12 noon, and from 2pm to 4pm;
  • at the Embassy of Latvia in Azerbaijan – on 7 April from 4pm to 6pm, and on 8 April from 10am to 1pm.

Hardijs Baumanis (1967 – 2015)

On 6 April 2015, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Latvia to the Republic of Azerbaijan, Hardijs Baumanis, passed away at the age of 47, at his place of service in Baku.

Hardijs Baumanis was born in Riga on 10 December 1967. He attended Riga Secondary School No 1, followed by studies at the Moscow Institute of Electronic Technology which he earned a degree in integrated microcircuit design. 

Being fully aware of the demand of the new epoch, he took up studies at the International Relations Institute of the University of Latvia and received a diploma in 1992. In the following years, Hardijs Baumanis devoted great attention to expanding his professional knowledge: he earned a Master's degree in International Relations from King's College in London, undertook diplomatic studies at the Hoover Institute, Stanford University, and courses at an international business school in Finland and the Royal College of Defence Studies in London.

Hardijs Baumanis joined the newly established diplomatic service of the Republic of Latvia on 20 April 1992 as a senior desk officer of the Economic Cooperation Division of the Economic Department. Juris Kanels, Director of the Economic Department, wrote the following about his new colleague in a personal assessment report: "Hardijs Baumanis, working initially on economic contacts with the Asian countries and later, with Scandinavia, proved himself to be a pro-active and capable employee." Hardijs received his first diplomatic rank of attaché on 17 August 1992, and over 16 years of his diplomatic career, rose to the rank of ambassador, serving his country with distinction. 

In 1993, Hardijs joined the newly established President's Chancery as a Foreign Policy Advisor. However, the call of the classical diplomacy was irresistible, and already in 1994, Baumanis was posted to the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia to the Kingdom of Denmark, where he served as First Secretary until 1997. This was followed by a challenging posting as Counsellor at the Latvian Embassy in the Russian Federation. Hardijs returned to Russia for the term of 2004–2006, when he headed the Consulate General in Saint Petersburg.

Edgars Bondars, a close colleague of Hardijs Baumanis at the Latvian Embassy in Russia, says the following about Hardijs: "I worked together with Hardijs at the Embassy in Moscow in the late 1990s, at the turn of the millennium. I remember Hardijs as sociable, creative and erudite diplomat. I noticed his way of addressing any problems and complex situations in an easy-going manner and with humour, while retaining self-control and dignity.  He was tactful and helpful towards those around him. Hardijs' sudden departure is a painful loss both for the foreign service and the country."

Returning to Riga, from 2004 to 2006, Hardijs was appointed Director of the Consular Department, another demanding assignment with a high level of responsibility.

In recognition of his successful performance, professional qualifications and human qualities, Hardijs Baumanis was then posted as Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia to the Republic of Lithuania (2006–2010) and non-resident Ambassador to India (2007–2014). From 2010 until his death, Hardijs Baumanis was Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Latvia to the Republic of Azerbaijan.

An acknowledgement to the merits of Hardijs Baumanis in strengthening external relations is the Order of the Dannebrog, the Commander’s rank, from the Kingdom of Denmark. Hardijs Baumanis was also awarded the medal of the Baltic Assembly and received countless expressions of gratitude from cooperation partners in Latvia and abroad.

The highest reward for a diplomat and patriot of Latvia, Hardijs Baumanis, are the fruits of his work and  memories kept alive by his three children, mother and sister. 

In memoriam: Hardijs Baumanis

Hardijs, you were of firm character, honest and fine, while on a daily basis, never losing the common touch, bright and open to any interesting initiative or proposal. You could be brilliantly inventive. Good-hearted, helpful, and sincere. Intelligent, educated, responsible. A true diplomat. 

Your presence was calming and inspiring, you were encouraging and insistent. You enjoyed the charged atmosphere of debate, questioning from new angles, fresh ideas. You shaped an environment in which all were invited to work together, all felt that they were receiving attention that was not artificial or fabricated, that came from the heart. You only asked for good will, candour and the courage not to hide one’s doubts.

You were hard-working. Your well thought out words, spoken at the right time and place, served as a means for a diplomat to reach goals... in the same way as your lucid gaze, your pleasant smile, the way you paused... in the same way, as your firm but correct comments to those who knowingly offered false arguments. 

With you, one could feel sure when beginning down a new path of work, on you, one could depend. You kept your promises, and you held others to their commitments. Your network of acquaintances and colleagues was quite broad, smaller was the circle of truly like-minded, and narrower still were those that you counted as real friends. And some of these have already made the trip to the next world.

You were not the kind of person who sought loud applause, words of recognition, or official thanks. You did engage in self-evaluation, looking to see if you had actually accomplished the duties entrusted to you by your country. You were a diplomat, the scale of your accomplishments is large, and this was an investment for the benefit of Latvia’s present and future. For this, you have my heartfelt appreciation. 

Ambassador Hardijs Baumanis has left us. The mind cannot grasp this sad news, it does not accept it. Hardijs is here with his family, his colleagues, friends, and acquaintances.

Alberts Kreņevskis, diplomat, colleague, like-minded, friend

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