|11 December||The second round of negotiations between Latvia and NATO on Latvia's accession to the Alliance took place at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. The aim of the second round of negotiations was to ascertain Latvia's readiness to undertake the commitments set out in the North Atlantic Treaty on NATO co-financed activities and programmes, and to involve its experts in NATO's common civic and military structures. Issues related to the protection of classified information and legal aspects were given special attention.
|4 December||The first NATO-Latvia round of negotiations on Latvia's accession to NATO was held in NATO headquarters in Brussels. The aim of the first round of talks was to ascertain Latvia's readiness to undertake the commitments set by the North Atlantic Treaty and support NATO policy in the promotion of the basic democracy principles, strengthening of peace and security in the Euro-Atlantic space, cooperation with partner countries and pursuance of the Alliance's open door policy. In the field of defence, Latvia undertakes to participate in the NATO collective defence and peacekeeping operations, and in the missions for crisis management".
|23 November||The Presidents of the three Baltic States met with the US President in Vilnius. During the meeting Vaira Vike-Freiberga pointed out that President Bush-s visit confirmed to the whole world that the Baltic States belonged to the Western democracy space. Referring to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania George Bush announced: "Anyone who would choose Lithuania as an enemy has also made an enemy of the United States of America. In the face of aggression, the brave people of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will never again stand alone".
|22 November||The Three Presidents of the Baltic States met with Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen who congratulated the three Baltic States and their leaders on the expected NATO membership and stressed that Denmark had thus implemented its long-term political aim of NATO enlargement and admission of the Baltic States to the Alliance. He congratulated the three Baltic States and their leaders on the expected NATO membership and stressed that Denmark had thus implemented its long-term political aim of NATO enlargement and admission of the Baltic States to the Alliance. The President of Latvia expressed willingness to continue the direct co-operation of Latvia with the Danish battalion in the future operations.
|21 November||During the Summit of the Heads of State and Government of NATO Member countries in Prague Latvia was invited to join the Alliance, therefore commencing a new stage in Latvia-s way to NATO. The Secretary General of NATO Lord Robertson recognized the invitation as a hugely significant decision, for NATO, for seven invited countries and for the Euro-Atlantic Community.
|17-29 October||6th international joint training/mine searching and disposal operation "Open Spirit 2002" took place in Latvia-s territorial waters, with the participation of battleships from 11 countries. During the training, 63 explosive objects were found in the Gulf of Riga and the Irbe Strait, 54 of which were disposed.
|10 October||Delegation headed by the US Ambassador Nicholas Burns visited Riga within the framework of the NATO aspirant countries- visiting tour and met with the senior state officials. The USA expressed appreciation of Latvia-s progress in carrying out its NATO Membership Action Plan.
|9 October||The regular Latvian-German consultations on the security policy took place in Riga. The German delegation was headed by the Ambassador-at-Large, Norbert Baas. Germany valued highly Latvia-s NATO Membership Action Plan and expressed optimism with regard to the decisions to be made at the Prague Summit.
|25 September||In NATO headquarters in Brussels, Latvia's Ambassador to NATO Imants Liegis submitted Latvia's NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) for 2003 to Daniel Speckhard, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General. Mr Speckhard gave a positive evaluation to Latvia's MAP.
|2 - 21 September||In Estonia, in the military polygon of Tapa, field training camp and international training "Baltic Eagle 2002" of the Baltic Battalion (BALTBAT) were held. Altogether, 1500 soldiers from 11 different countries (171 from Latvia) took part in the training. The training was aimed at increasing the readiness of the international peacekeepers- contingent, and at preparing military specialists for work in headquarters according to the NATO requirements. Defence Minister of Denmark Svend Aage Jensby noted that "Baltic Eagle 2002" testifies of the progress of the Baltic States- armed forces and the well-founded expectations to receive invitation for NATO membership in Prague.
|18 September||In the Multinational Polish-German-Danish Corps North East in Szczecin, the Baltic Laison Office was opened.
|5 September||Saeima decided to extend participation of Latvian soldiers in the NATO Stabilisation Forces (SFOR) in the territory of former Yugoslavia until 12 July 2003.
|29 August||The consultations of Latvia and Poland on MAP 2003 take place in Warsaw. The Polish side approves the plan and its structure and confirms that the previous comments and advices of the Alliance have been taken into account.
|26 August||The Foreign Ministers of the Baltic and Nordic countries met in Tallinn where the co-operation of the Baltic and Nordic countries in the context on NATO integration was discussed. The participants of the meeting had the same opinion that the three Baltic countries have good chances to receive invitation to join NATO, but at the same time they have to continue actively to work at the practical co-operation and readiness to join the Alliance.|
|21 - 23 August||
The Latvian delegation meets with the representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Ministries of Defence of the Czech Republic, Denmark and Norway in order to consult on MAP 2003. The consulters highly appreciate MAP 2003 and highlight that Latvia has made a significant progress and continues actively working at the successful reform implementation.
|18 - 19 August||The meeting of Prime Ministers of the Baltic and Nordic countries took place in Riga, Latvia, where the NATO enlargement issue was discussed. The leaders recognised the successful co-operation of the eight countries and separately of three Baltic States. During the meeting it was decided to continue this co-operation also after the NATO 2002 Prague Summit.|
|17 July||The Minister of Foreign Affairs Indulis Bērziņš met with Elisabeth Jones, Head of the Bureau of the European and Eurasian Affairs of the US Department of State, in Riga and discussed a wide scope of NATO issues, including the future development of the Alliance after the Prague Summit. The Minister of Foreign Affairs stressed that Latvia sees the invitation to join NATO as a starting point for further development and work.|
|4 July||The Minister of Foreign Affairs Indulis Berzins met representatives of the US Administration: Heather Conley, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Robert Bradtke, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Joseph Wood, Special Advisor to the Vice President who have arrived to take part in the V-10 Summit "The Bridge to Prague". The US side expressed appreciation of Latvia's efforts to organise the V-10 Summit and Latvia's performance in fields such as fight against corruption, integration of society, strengthening of military capacities and called on the Latvian side actively to continue to work in these directions. The US officials expressed that in the last months before the Prague Summit the USA will attribute particular attention to the readiness of each candidate country for the membership in NATO. The Minister of Foreign Affairs on his part asserted Latvia's awareness of the need actively to continue to implement the Membership Action Plan both before and after the Summit.|
|4 July||The President of Latvia Vaira Vike-Freiberga, the President of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus and the President of Estonia Arnold Rüütel confirmed the unity of the Baltic States and the solidarity of the NATO aspirant states in implementing their aim - NATO membership - during their meeting in Riga Castle on the eve of the Summit of the NATO aspirant countries. The Presidents agreed that namely the successful co-operation and unity among Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia had been a pre-condition for the successful development of the countries after regaining independence and today on their way to the Prague summit the Baltic States were prepared for the NATO membership. Vaira Vike-Freiberga pointed out that the Baltic States were willing to pass their integration experience to other countries with similar foreign policy priorities.|
|16 - 18 June||The "Rose-Roth" seminar "Role of NATO in the security of the Baltic region - new tasks, new opportunities", jointly organised by NATO Parliamentary Assembly and the Saeima, takes place in Riga. The objective of "Rose-Roth" programme is to promote co-operation between the parliaments of the Central European and East European countries, thus strengthening the parliamentary democracy in those countries, using NATO Parliamentary Assembly as an example of interparliamentary co-operation and assistance.|
|17 June||State Secretary of the ministry of Foreign Affairs M.Riekstins meets with the Defence Minister of Sweden Bjorn von Sydow. M.Riekstins positively evaluates Sweden's political support and practical assistance to Latvia's defence system and expresses hope that this co-operation will continue also after Latvia's accession to NATO. The Defence Minister of Sweden expresses support to the path that Latvia has chosen for integration in NATO.|
|6 - 7 June||State Secretary M.Riekstins visits the U.S.A. and within the framework of political consultations meets with the representatives and experts of the U.S. Congress, the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon to inform them about Latvia's NATO integration process. M.Riekstins meets also with the ambassadors of ten NATO candidate countries and the Nordic countries, the U.S. NATO Committee and the Councillors of the U.S. Senate and informs them about the preparatory work for the highest level meeting of NATO candidate countries on 5th - 6th July 2002 in Riga.|
6 - 7 June
|State Secretary M.Riekstins visits the U.S.A. and within the framework of political consultations meets with the representatives and experts of the U.S. Congress, the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon to inform them about Latvia's NATO integration process. M.Riekstins meets also with the ambassadors of ten NATO candidate countries and the Nordic countries, the U.S. NATO Committee and the Councillors of the U.S. Senate and informs them about the preparatory work for the highest level meeting of NATO candidate countries on 5th - 6th July 2002 in Riga.|
|29 May||The Defence Minister of Georgia David Tevzdze visits Latvia and meets with the highest state officials, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs Indulis Berzins. Also, on 29th of May, a group of the International Security Councillors headed by its chairman British General Garry Johnson visits the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The key discussion topic - military political assistance to Georgia. The councillors actively urged to provide assistance to Georgia because Latvia has experience which the representatives of the Western countries are lacking.|
|28 - 29 May||The President of the influential U.S. NATO Committee Bruce Jackson visits Latvia and meets with the highest state officials. The issues examined during the talks are the current situation in the international discussion with regard to NATO enlargement, the outcomes of Reykjavik meeting and Latvia's preparations for accession to NATO.|
|28 May||Latvia welcomes the approval of the agreement on 28th of May at Rome Summit on strengthening the relations between NATO and Russia and the establishment of a NATO-Russia council. The involvement of Russia in the co-operation with NATO positively impacts the security climate in Europe.|
|27 May||The Minister of Foreign Affairs Indulis Berzins meets with a group of Councilors of the U.S. Senate visiting Latvia. Latvia's preparations for participation in the Alliance are discussed during the meeting. I.Berzins informs about the accomplishments of Latvia while preparing for the participation in NATO. The Minister points out that Latvia's participation in NATO will promote regional stability and welfare.|
|15 May||The Minister of Foreign Affairs Indulis Berzins takes part in the Session of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in Reykjavik. Before the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of NATO candidate countries have a separate meeting with the US Secretary of State, Mr Colin L. Powell. The State Secretary extends special congratulations to Latvia with regard to the adoption of the amendments to the Election Law. When opening the discussion with Mr Colin L. Powell, Indulis Berzins on behalf of the candidate countries emphasises the significance of the co-operation among the candidate countries in promoting NATO enlargement discussion, and points out to the summit meeting of the candidate countries planned in Riga on 5th - 6th of July of 2002 in Riga as an opportunity to discuss the contribution of the candidate countries in the fulfillment of NATO tasks.
At the session of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council I.Berzins delivers a speech emphasizing the importance of the current discussions about the future of the Euro-Atlantic partnership to all NATO candidate countries, since already in the autumn the decision truly altering the future of Europe, the Alliance and the EAPC will be taken.
|13 May||The Minister of Foreign Affairs Indulis Berzins meets with the delegation of the Parliamentary Defense Committee of Great Britain. During the meeting security policy issues were discussed. In the course of the discussion the British Parliament Members inquired about the attitude of the society towards Latvia's participation in NATO, and the Minister noted the high level of support of the society - more than 60%.|
|10 May||The Minister of Foreign Affairs Indulis Berzins meets with the Assistant Secretary General of NATO Robert Bell. Concrete regional and security policy aspects are discussed during the meeting.|
|6 May||The meeting of NATO Integration Council chaired by the Prime Minister Andris Berzins takes place. At the meeting the results of the Latvian - U.S. military task force are discussed, also the report on the accomplishments of the task force in informing the society about NATO were reviewed. During the meeting the schedule was approved for drafting and approving the Membership Action Plan for the year 2003.|
|2 May||The meeting of the presidents of the Czech Republic and the Baltic states takes place in Prague. V.Havel repeatedly expresses strong support of the Czech Republic to the participation of the Baltic states in NATO.|
|1 May||The Ambassador of Latvia to the U.S. A.Ronis, together with other ambassadors of NATO candidate countries, informs the members of the U.S. Congress about Latvia's efforts to become a full-fledged NATO member state and also about the progress in the field of defense. Hearings on NATO enlargement related issues are held in the U.S. Congress.|
|25 April||The Minister of Foreign Affairs Indulis Berzins meets with the NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO General General Joseph W. Ralston. During the meeting Latvia's preparatory work for accession to NATO is discussed. Both parties share the view that not only the military aspect is important for NATO, but also the compliance of the particular state with the political criteria of NATO. Both the Minister of Foreign Affairs and J.Ralston emphasise that NATO enlargement will promote regional stability and economic growth.|
|23 April||The Minister of Foreign Affairs Indulis Berzins meets with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway Jan Petersen who repeatedly emphasizes Norway's support to Latvia's NATO aspirations.|
|22 April||Political consultations between the Baltic states and Denmark at the level of State Secretaries take place in Riga. At the consultations issues related to the development of NATO enlargement process are discussed.|
|15 - 16 April||The President of the Republic of Turkey Mr. Ahmet Necdet Sezer visits Latvia and confirms the support of his country to all NATO candidate countries that will be in compliance with the standards set by NATO, including Latvia.|
|11 - 13 April||The political consultations between Latvia and China take place in Riga. When discussing security policy issues, the head of the Chinese delegation Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Liu Guchang emphasises that Latvia as a sovereign country has its own right to choose its security model, and China respects the choice of each country. Latvia's accession to NATO will not be an obstacle to further bilateral co-operation.|
|11 April||Experts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia meet with the experts of the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense of Sweden. The key discussion topic - the military political co-operation between Latvia and Sweden.|
|9 - 11 April||The U.S. delegation headed by Ian Brezinski (Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for NATO and European Policy) visits Latvia. On the 10th of April the delegation takes part in the meeting of the bilateral Latvian - U.S. military task force within the framework of the the US- Baltic Partnership Charter. The key topics discussed at the meeting are the development of Latvia's National Armed Forces, the defense reform and other defense related issues. The guests form the U.S. meet also with the Prime Minister Andris Berzins and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Indulis Berzins. The U.S. side positively evaluates Latvia's progress in the development of the military system, also thanks Latvia for its support to America after the terrorist attacks of the 11th of September.|
|25 - 26 March||The Prime Minister Andris Berzins takes part in the meeting of the heads of NATO candidate countries "Bucharest 2002: The Spring of New Allies". A.Berzins delivers a speech at the panel discussion "New challenges, new allies" and emphasises the contribution and the role of the North Atlantic Alliance to solving crisis situations. The Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia informs also about Latvia's participation in the combat against terrorism, also notes the contribution of the Southern countries to the stability of the Balkan region. In the declaration of the meeting NATO candidate countries confirm their commitment to continue the improvement of their readiness for participation in NATO. The candidate countries welcome the co-operation between Russia and NATO and undertake to promote integration of a democratic Russia in the Euro-Atlantic society. It is confirmed that the next meeting of the heads of NATO candidate countries shall take place in Riga on 5th - 6th July 2002. A.Berzins informs about the agenda of the meeting in Riga and invites the colleagues to visit Riga in July.
|19 March||The joint British Association for Central and Eastern Europe (BACEE) and Pauls Stradins University round table discussion on security policy issues take place at the Saeima (the Parliament).|
Latvia-Sweden consultations on security policy issues take place in Stockholm. In the course of the consultations the parties discusse issues related to Latvia's integration into NATO, ESDP, as well as Russia-NATO cooperation, bilateral relations, and other issues.
|18 March||Latvia-NATO meeting on Latvia's NATO Membership Action Plan 2002 (MAP) take place at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. In the course of the meeting Ambassadors of NATO Member States positively evaluate Latvia's progress in implementation of the MAP, especially praising the stable development and dynamic growth of Latvia's economy, which inter alia guarantees also the necessary funding for Latvia's defence needs. The Ambassadors also positively note Latvia's accomplishments in the field of social integration, at the same time they encourage the Government of Latvia to continue with paying serious attention to these issues. Commenting on the measures Latvia has taken in the fight against corruption, the Ambassadors urge Latvia to continue with these efforts. The Ambassadors pointe out that amendments to the electoral law would facilitate the development of democracy in Latvia and as well the invitation to join the Alliance.
The representatives of NATO Member States approve Latvia's contribution to strengthening of the regional security and to creation of relations with Russia. NATO representatives share the opinion that Latvia's integration into NATO would facilitate bilateral relations with Russia. The participants of the meeting are unanimous in that Latvia has to continue its efforts as seriously as they are commenced until NATO Summit in Prague in November this year, and afterwards as well.
In the course of the meeting the concept of Latvia's defence system, defence planning and the structure and tasks of the National Armed Forces are also discussed in detail.
|8 March||In Skopje, Macedonia, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia Mr.Indulis Berzins participates in the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the NATO Candidate Countries, in the course of which the enlargement of NATO and the fight against terrorism are discussed. At the end of the Ministers' meeting, a joint statement is adopted.|
|1 March||NATO Security Office director Mr Wayne S. Rychak visits Latvia. During the meeting with state officials of Latvia, Mr Wayne S. Rychak admitts that Latvia has a good basis for creation of an information security infrastructure in conformity with NATO standards.|
|28 February||Latvia-Turkey military-political consultations are held in Ankara, Turkey. Turkey's representatives acknowledge their support to NATO enlargement and Latvia's membership in the Alliance. According to the Turkish party the enlargement is as an opportunity to strengthen the security of NATO as well as the whole of Europe, however it is important to preserve military capabilities, funding and decision-making process of NATO.|
|25-26 February||The US Ambassador to NATO Mr.Nicholas Burns visits Latvia leading the US expert delegations' trip to NATO candidate countries. The aim of the visit is to get acquainted with the candidates' preparation for NATO membership. During the visit, Mr.Nicholas Burns has meetings with Latvia's highest officials. The US party notes that it considers Latvia as potential Member State of the Alliance, although the US Administration has not taken the decision on the states, which will be invited to NATO, yet. The US party emphasises that Russia is not the country to decide on NATO enlargement issue.|
|26 February||The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia Mr.Indulis Berzins has a meeting with the Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom Mr.Geoffrey Hoon, during which different aspects of the security policy are discussed.
Mr.Geoffrey Hoon, expressing appreciation concerning the co-operation between Latvia and the United Kingdom, emphasises that following the Prague Summit he wishes to see Latvia as NATO Member State.
|21-22 February||NATO Secretary General Lord George Robertson pays an official visit to Latvia to learn about Latvia's preparedness for NATO membership. During the talks with Latvia's highest officials the Secretary General showes interest in the following issues, namely, public support to NATO, minorities' situation, electoral law, relationship with Russia, Latvia's practical preparation for NATO membership.|
|13-15 February||The consultations of the representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence of the Baltic States and NATO South-European countries: Spain, Italy and Greece take place to discuss NATO enlargement issues and readiness of the Baltic States to join NATO. The representatives of the South-European countries expresse their support to the invitation of new Members during the Prague NATO Summit.|
|1-3 February||Annual high-level Conference on Security Policy take place in Munich, Germany, with the participation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia Mr.Indulis Berzins and the Minister of Defence of Latvia Mr.Girts Valdis Kristovskis. The theme of combating international terrorism is in focus at the conference.|
|30 January||Pro-NATO NGOs of the Baltic States - LATO (Latvian Transatlantic Organisation), LATA (Lithuanian Atlantic Treaty Association), EATA (Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association), conclude an Agreement for promotion of closer co-operation in integration of Baltic publics into NATO and founded a joint Baltic Atlantic Treaty Association (BATA). With the support of the Danish Atlantic Treaty Association the Baltic organisations and research institutes agree on promotion of the public debate, raising the competence about the Baltic peace and defence dimension.|
|29 January||Annual US-Baltic States' consultations on the CFE Treaty take place in Riga.|
|22 January||The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia Mr Indulis Berzins attends the Wilton Park conference (United Kingdom) and participates in the panel discussion devoted to the Baltic States' membership in NATO.|
A group of NATO experts visit Latvia to assess Latvia's readiness for the membership of NATO and as a result to produce the PARP (Planning and Review Process) Assessment, i.e. the report on Latvia's readiness for the membership of NATO. Under the chairmanship of NATO Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs Gunter Altenburg, the experts meet Latvian top governmental officials and experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence.
NATO officials admit that Latvia has done a great amount of work but much still remains to be done to achieve the goals set by Latvia itself.
In the context of the enlargement of NATO, G.Alterburg states clearly that Russia has no decision-making right regarding the admission of new members to NATO. Russia has understood that the question is no longer whether Latvia will join the North Atlantic Alliance, but when it will happen.