RIGA - Latvia is a strategic partner, friend and ally of the United States (US), with which a very broad partnership has been established, which the US treats very seriously and with much responsibility, and Latvians can feel sure that we will steadfastly stand by Latvia, the US Ambassador to Latvia Christopher Robinson said in an interview to LETA.
"We always talk about strategic partnerships, military cooperation, about NATO or about the European Union (EU). However, we are united by much more than that. We have a real friendship, a real partnership, and we cannot say that about every country," said the US ambassador, emphasizing that the partnership between the countries is deep and broad - it is only necessary to ensure that it remains.
He emphasized that the US is very serious about both the bilateral partnership and NATO's presence in Latvia. "In my opinion, Latvians can feel safe and confident. The international community can also be sure that we will steadfastly stand by Latvia to defend its borders and the entire NATO territory," the ambassador emphasized.
Speaking about his diplomatic term in Latvia, Robinson said that he started his work here shortly after the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Latvia and the United States, so he first discussed with his team what foundations should be laid for the next hundred years. They have focused on three areas - security issues, deepening the economic partnership and strengthening the societies of both countries in order to make them more resistant to the threats posed by Russia at the moment.
"Security issues are, of course, currently heavily impacted by Russia's war against Ukraine, and our partnership in the field of security is on everyone's mind right now. But there are other things we are working on to strengthen and deepen our partnership," said the ambassador, whose began his work in Latvia at the end of January.
In regards to economic cooperation, Robinson put forward energy security, the green transition and improving Latvia's competitiveness - so that Latvia is interesting for foreign investors - and "continuing the excellent work" in the field of combating corruption.
The ambassador emphasized that work on strengthening an inclusive society by developing human ties between the two countries is very important. He highly praised the national exchange programs in which hundreds of people from all over Latvia could participate in, thus deepening the ties between the two countries. "As the Song and Dance Festival approaches, our extensive cooperation in the field of culture comes to mind - many choirs will also come to the festival from the US. There is also extensive cooperation between our law enforcement officers, there are exchange programs between universities, between medical institutions, etc." said Robinson.
"Security is more than just tanks. Both economic security and societal interaction are important, and we need to work on all these aspects simultaneously in building our partnership. Of course, the war in Ukraine shows each of these three fundamental areas in a very specific light. But our approach is broader and I will be working to develop our partnership over the next few years," Robinson said.
The US ambassador expressed his joy at how friendly and positive the Latvians are. "Not to mention the hockey fans who came to the embassy with flowers after the hockey match. There are great emotions everywhere, whether visiting students in Valmiera, enjoying the growth of Liepaja or visiting the young pilots in Lielvarde," he said.
Robinson said that Americans have watched from afar how the 100-year-old history of Latvians began with great optimism, but later ended with a terrible tragedy - the Second World War and Soviet occupation, deportations, murders and repressions. "However, Latvia regained its independence and only became stronger. I want to wish that the next 100 years will be even more successful. I am touched by how Latvia has safeguarded and strengthened its culture and history. It is a great pleasure for me to be here," the ambassador emphasized.