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The year 2008 was especially marked by high-level bilateral meetings. In March 2008, Mr. Barnier, Minister of Agriculture, and then Mr. Jouyet, Secretary of State responsible for European Affairs visited Riga. Two agreements were signed during Mr. Jouyet’s trip: a bilateral agreement on exchanges of classified information and a multilateral agreement on a multiyear French instruction programme in the Latvian government. The Prime Minister’s visit to Riga in May 2008 allowed for the signing of a political declaration on the strategic Franco-Latvian partnership, which sets out the areas of development of our ties, in particular in the areas of politics, economics, culture and science.
In February 2010, the Secretary of State responsible for European Affairs went to Riga, where he had a meeting with Mr.Riektins, in the context of a trip to the three Baltic States devoted to the issues of security and ties with Russia. The signing of an intergovernmental agreement in 2001 settled the historic question of Latvian legation in Paris. The building that housed the legation was occupied since 1940 by the Soviets, then by the Russians, who put up their UNESCO representation there. France proposed a solution, buying the building in exchange for compensation paid to Latvia.
In the area of military cooperation and in the inter-Baltic context, a national naval officer is seconded on a regular basis to the Baltic minesweeping squadron (BALTRON). France endeavours to make one stopover a year in the region, seeking to link its activities to Baltron’s activities. As the Baltic air forces have no fighters, NATO set up a system in 2004 implemented on a rotational basis by certain countries of the Alliance and making it possible to police the air space of the Baltic countries. Accordingly, in 2007, then in 2010, France took its turn of four months of surveillance and it will carry out this mission again from May to August 2011. The three countries want the system to be permanent (it has now been renewed through 2014).
More information on the French Embassy’s website (in French)
Updated on 26.01.11