NATO PA 2010 Spring Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly LR Saeimas mājas lapa
Latvia and NATO Print

On 29 March 2009, Latvia marked the 5th anniversary of being a full-fledged NATO member state. By joining the strongest military alliance in the world, Latvia obtained security guarantees it had never experienced in its history.

Article 5 of NATO’s founding treaty, i.e., the North Atlantic Treaty, stipulates that an armed attack against one or more of its member states shall be considered an attack against all the member states and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them will assist the member state so attacked.

The North Atlantic Treaty was signed on 4 April 1949 in Washington, D.C. During the 60 years of its existence, NATO has experienced several rounds of enlargement, and currently it comprises 28 member states. Since the establishment of NATO, the world’s geo-political situation has also undergone significant changes, and new security challenges have emerged. In order to respond to these new threats, while simultaneously maintaining an effective collective defence system, NATO’s new Strategic Concept is being drafted. Latvia is also participating in drafting this concept, and the assessment of this concept will be one of the key topics in the forthcoming NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Session in Riga.

In becoming a NATO member state, Latvia not only acquired security guarantees but also assumed certain obligations. Since 1996, Latvian soldiers have participated in international peace-keeping and peace-support operations. During this time, soldiers of the National Armed Forces have participated in international operations in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Iraq and Kosovo. Latvia’s participation in the NATO-led operation in Afghanistan is currently the main priority, and it is Latvia’s largest mission since more than 150 Latvian soldiers are serving in Afghanistan.


In February 1994, Latvia joined the Partnership for Peace programme.

In April 1999, at the Meeting of NATO Heads of State and Government in Washington, D.C., Latvia was officially recognised as a candidate country, and together with six other countries it started the process in accordance with the NATO Membership Action Plan.

In November 2002, at the NATO Summit in Prague, Latvia received an official invitation to join the NATO Alliance.

On 16 February 2004, Latvia for the first time participated in a joint meeting of NATO member states and invited countries at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Brussels.

On 29 March 2004, in a solemn ceremony in Washington, D.C., the Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia handed over the instrument of accession to the North Atlantic Treaty to the U.S. Secretary of State. Thus, the legal process concerning Latvia’s accession to NATO was completed, and Latvia became a full-fledged NATO member state.

In November 2006, Latvia organised the NATO Summit in Riga.

Information about the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s visits to Latvia in previous years

3.09 - 7.09.2000
NATO PA annual tour

Visit of the NATO PA’s Political Committee to Latvia

16.06 - 18.06.2002
NATO PA’s Rose-Roth seminar on “NATO’s Role in Baltic Security – New Challenges, New Opportunities”

24.03 - 26.03.2003
Visit to Latvia and Estonia (26.03 - 28.03.2003) of the Sub-Committee on Future Security and Defence Capabilities of the NATO PA’s Defence and Security Committee.

20.09 - 23.09.2003
Visit to Estonia (17.09 – 20.09.2003) and Latvia of the Sub-Committee on Democratic Governance of the NATO PA’s Committee on the Civil Dimension of Security.

15.09 - 16.09.2005
Visit to Latvia of the Sub-Committee on East-West Economic Co-operation and Convergence of the NATO PA’s Committee on Economics and Security.