After 1998 proved disappointing for Latvia and Lithuania as Estonia
rode ahead into fast-track negotiations with the EU, the two
ministers worked hard at catching up to their northern neighbor.
It worked - the EU invited Latvia and Lithuania to formal
negotiations in December. The foreign ministers expressed their
support of each other at the 3 + 1 meeting in Tallinn in September
and said they would stand by each other as each got ready to accede
to NATO and the EU. The three foreign ministers also negotiated
through trade problems, threatening words from Russia and changes in
their own leadership. Maybe it's all in a days work; but last year
Ilves, Berzins and Saudargas seemed to be working a 20-hour day.