Features of international security environment
Just as any other modern democracy, Latvia is also concerned about the dangers posed by globalization and the processes in the international security environment. Therefore, Latvia’s security policy is based on an active multilateral and bilateral cooperation and participation in the international organizations – the European Union and NATO.
Latvia - NATO
Latvia has its security policy roots in the membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). The member states share common values and the awareness that security co-operation is the most effective way of promoting security in their own countries and in the Euro-Atlantic area as a whole. Jointly with other Allies, Latvia takes part in NATO-led international operations.
According to the 2010 NATO Strategic Concept, the core tasks of the Alliance are:
- collective defence,
- international crisis management,
- cooperation with partners.
The EU Common Security and Defence Policy
The Common Security and Defence Policy – CSDP (formerly known as the European Security and Defence Policy) is a part of the broader EU Common Foreign and Security Policy. The role of the EU in solving global security problems has increased over the past years both in terms of quality and quantity through the use of its civilian and military capabilities in the management of conflicts and crises beyond the EU borders. Latvia supports a functional CSDP, which is capable of securing the EU civil and military potential, suitable for the projection of the EU values and interests beyond its borders, thereby assuming responsibility for ensuring peace and stability on a regional and international level.
Participation in International missions and operations
Latvia is an active and trustworthy ally to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the European Union (EU) and contributes to the guarantee of stability and security by: participation in international operations; strengthening of military and civilian crisis management capabilities; increasing defence budget; providing help to other countries, when necessary, and actively cooperating with other partners bilaterally and multilaterally.
Latvia participates in EU civilian and military operations, in NATO led military operations and in missions led by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation of Europe (OSCE). Until now, Latvia has not directly engaged in the United Nations led operations.
Fighting international terrorism
Global terrorism has become one of the most serious threats to the security in the world today, endangering the lives of innocent people and society as a whole. European citizens consider international terrorism as one of the more important problems currently facing the European Union. The fight against terrorism will continue to be a priority for the EU, due to the threat level of terrorism, which has stayed constantly high. Latvia as a member state of the EU, NATO and other international organisations (UN, OSCE and the European Council) participates in and fosters cooperation with partners to counter terrorism and reduce the threat thereof. Latvia is also strengthening its capabilities on a national level.
Arms control and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
Arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation are integral tools in advancing Euro Atlantic and global security. An important element of the Latvian foreign and security policy is responsible action in the areas of arms control and non-proliferation. Latvia implements its arms control and non-proliferation policy by honouring its commitments as a state party or subscriber of the main agreements, regimes and initiatives in arms control and non-proliferation, as well as by developing and implementing a strict export control policy. Latvia underlines the importance of implementing a balanced approach to fostering global disarmament and honouring its commitments as NATO member state. In light of the global threat of terrorism it is especially important to prevent the proliferation of conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction.
Export Control of Strategically Significant Goods
The uncontrolled spread of military technology, biological and chemical weapons and firearms, as well as other goods of strategic significance, may give rise to a serious threat of terrorism and military conflict. In order to prevent the potential spread of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, an effective control of export, import and transit of strategically significant goods is important. The successful co-operation between EU, OSCE and UN in a regime of international export control measures is also of great importance.