NATO secretary general: Latvia is a serious candidate to NATO

  • 2000-04-06
RIGA (BNS) – NATO regards Latvia as a serious candidate and is ready to provide assistance and political support to Latvia in its integration efforts, NATO Secretary General George Robertson said in Riga on March 29.

Speaking at the foundation meeting of a public organization for NATO support, Robertson thanked Latvia for its contribution to NATO operations in Kosovo and in the settlement of the Balkan crisis.

Neither NATO headquarters nor other headquarters will leave this contribution unnoticed, NATO's top official said.

He stressed it was proof of Latvia's ability to play an important part in developments in the international community.

The Baltic states represent a model for building regional cooperation as evidenced by performance of the Baltic Battalion (Baltbat), foundation of the Baltic defense college and other examples of cooperation, Robertson said.

According to the NATO secretary general, Latvia had an important part in promoting this cooperation.

In a short period of time Latvia has become an active partner of the international cooperation. It has become a EU candidate, an associated member in the Western European Union (WEU), a Council of Europe member state and also is working actively within the institutions founded under the U.S.-Baltic charter.

Since 1994 Latvia has been taking an active part in the Partnership for Peace program and improving its relations with NATO through efforts to upgrade language skills and bring its defense forces up to the alliance's level, the NATO top official said.