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ID number:835768
Published: 28.04.2004.
Language: English
Level: Secondary school
Literature: 5 units
References: Not used

After regaining independence in 1991 one of the main concerns for Latvian politicians and diplomats was removal of Russian troops from Latvia. As specified by Rita Peters (1994) from Russia research center at Harvard University “On 17 September 1991, the day of their admission to the United Nations, the Baltic States were still under "occupation" by another member-state – Russia. An estimated 200,000 troops and support personnel of the Northwestern Group of Forces were stationed in the capital cities of the Baltic republics and in bases located throughout their territories.” Objectives of Latvian diplomats in negotiations of Russian troop removal was clear – they wanted Russian troops and military personnel suporting the troops out of the country as soon as possible. Russian objectives where not as clear as Latvian ones. Russia withdraw its troops from Lithuania in August 1993, whereas it was hesitating to withdraw troops from Latvia and Estonia. Russia had different explanations and arguments for its hesitation, starting from defense to human rights violations of native Russians in Latvia. According to Country Studies US website Russia claimed that there are no facilities and room for returning Russian military and requested funds to build them. Other issue was human rights – Russia claimed that human rights of native Russians are violated as they did not get citizenship automatically, it could be gained only through naturalization process, also higher education was not provided in Russian language any longer. “Russian foreign minister Andrey Kozyrev explicitly claimed Russia's right to maintain troops in the Baltic states to avoid a security vacuum and to preempt the establishment of forces hostile to Russia” (“Foreign Policy Directions”, 2003).…

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