Latvian Ambassador to Russia, Andris Teikmanis, hopes to see Russian President Vladimir Putin visit Latvia before expiration of his presidential term.
In the interview to the Latvian daily Neatkariga Teikmanis said that there were no grounds for rumors about Putin coming to the Latvian capital Riga for the NATO summit at the end of November. "No signals have been received. And there will be the CIS summit held at that time, although anything can happen. Let's put it like this - I see no reason why it could happen but there are no obstacles that might prevent it from happening. In fact, what would be, if he came? He has attended NATO summit before. So what?," said Latvian ambassador.
He also said that the issue might seem important because Putin has never been in Latvia. "Actually, we would be more interested in seeing him come on a bilateral visit, not just for the NATO summit. Putin has been at many summits - the fact that he recently attend the EU informal summit in Finland is not going to change anything in Russian-Finnish relations," said Teikmanis.
When asked in how many years a Russian President could make bilateral visit to Latvia, the ambassador said he did not see any obstacles to Putin making the visit this year.
"I would like to express hope that the it would be the current Russian president, who would visit Latvia. Will it happen that way?," wondered Teikmanis.
Putin's second consecutive and therefore his last term as the Russian president will expire in 2008.