RIGA - In an address to the Saeima Thursday morning [Feb. 1], President Vaira Vike-Freiberga declared that she, along with representatives of the Latvian government, is prepared to sign the Latvian-Russian border agreement. "Russia's will to find a solution for this issue can be felt," president said.
"We do not know who the next Russian president will be, nor do we know how prepared will he be to sign the border treaty with Latvia. This makes the preparedness to sign the border treaty with Latvia voiced by the incumbent Russian President Vladimir Putin even more important. It is in the interests of Latvia to use this opportunity," president stated.
She also outlined that the improvement of relations between Latvia and Russia could be felt in 2005 and 2006.
Signing of the border treaty will be a significant step for improving the bilateral relations. It would show Latvia's maturity and ability to solve complicated questions, implementing national interests, she said.
In her speech, the president has said that signing of the border treaty could be likened to the agreement about the withdrawal of the Russian Army from Latvia signed 13 years ago. Like then, the lawmakers have to make a difficult choice, since the certainty concerning the border is essential for the national security.
"Security purports not only the border crossing points, but also a clearly defined, from the legal point of view, border, on which these crossing points can operate. Defining the legal status of the border would help to solve the issues, concerning delimitation of frontiers and put into order the border infrastructure," said Vike-Freiberga.
In May 2005 Russia refused to sign the border treaty with Latvia, since the Latvian government wished to add a declaration to the treaty. The declaration contained a reference to the 1920 Latvian-Russian Peace Treaty under which Abrene county (now Pytalovo) along with six counties belong to Latvia.