Now that it has been invited to join NATO and the EU, Latvia plans on reconsidering its strategies in the international political arena to make them more relevant to its new status, Foreign Minister Sandra Kalniete said Monday in an interview for the Russian-language newspaper Telegraf.
According to Mrs. Kalniete, gaining EU and NATO membership has been a key priority with Latvia's authorities ever since the country restored its independence from Russia.
Now, Latvia is going to focus on stabilizing its eastern borders with Russia and Belarus, the Foreign Minister announced. "We are to articulate Latvia's regional interests and its policies vis-a-vis CIS member countries," she pointed out.
Mrs. Kalniete believes that Latvian-Russian relations will now be developing primarily along the lines of the Russia-NATO dialogue. She expects Latvia to be an object for discussion within this dialogue and also one of its participants, especially after the nation becomes a full-fledged member of the Russia-NATO Council.
The Latvian Foreign Minister is looking forward to a younger generation coming into power in both countries. She hopes that young people, more socially and politically tolerant than seniors, will be able to improve the Latvia-Russia relationship through enhancing societal harmony and alleviating tensions lingering since the Soviet era.