The main directions of the foreign policy of Latvia are closely related to national security issues during active participation in the activities of structural units of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and European Union (EU). They stipulate the continuation of close and active transatlantic dialogue and promotes the strengthening of strategic cooperation between Latvia and USA. Simultaneously, Latvia attributes importance also to the establishment of partner relations with the countries of Northern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
The comprehensive principles for state defence included in the legislative draft denote that in the event of a war or military incursion, not only National Armed Forces but also state and municipal administration workers, as well as private and legal persons have the duty to perform activities to ensure state military and civil defence.
Overcoming a military threat is only possible with a full involvement of Latvian residents in the country’s defence.
The State Defence Concept
In accordance with Article 29 of the National Security Law, the Ministry of Defence prepares the State Defence Concept (SDC). The SDC is a policy planning document that has been prepared on the basis of the Military Threat Analysis. The policy sets out the strategic goals, basic principles, priorities and measures of the country's military defence in times of peace, threat to the state and war. In accordance with the National Security Law of the state, the SDC drafted by the Ministry of Defence shall be reviewed by the Cabinet of Ministers and approved by the Saeima at least once in each parliamentary term - by 1 October of the second year of its activities.
On the basis of the SDC, a national Defence Policy is implemented and specific national defence policy and operational measures are planned. Similarly, the resources needed to implement defence policies and measures, the development of the National Armed Forces (NBS), the necessary preparedness and functioning of public authorities and governmental bodies, local governments, natural and legal persons during peace, state threats and war are planned in accordance with the SDC. The implementation of national protection measures shall be ensured according to the resources available in the performance of the statutory functions and tasks of the NBS. The introduction of the SDC shall be ensured by the national authorities in accordance with their competence and with the tasks specified in regulatory enactments.
On 24 September 2020, the SDC was approved by the Saeima for 2020-2024. The Latvian Defence Policy Strategy is based on deterrence and the following key actions identified by the SDC:
- Development of NBS and strengthening of national defence capabilities;
- Strengthening NATO collective defence;
- Promoting international cooperation;
- The introduction of a comprehensive national protection system.
Latvia has close cooperation in defence sector with Estonia and Lithuania, as well as with Nordic countries, our strategic partner USA and Canada, which is leading country of NATO's eFP battlegroup Latvia.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is open for cooperation with civil society and invites non-governmental sector to actively participate in the policy planning and implementation processes of state administration.
The MoD has established a regular cooperation with the non-governmental sector in Latvia and abroad.
Latvian state administration, society and economy depend on the opportunities and services ensured by information and communication technology ( ICT), and ICT determines the existence of information society in Latvia.
With the increasing trend of society’s range and use of services in cyber space, the number of cyber attacks and methods in which attacks are carried out is increasing respectively.
Logistics and Defence Investments policy
Ability to guarantee the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Latvia and safety of its population must be seen in context with common environment of science, research, innovations, and technology development. The Ministry of Defence prepares a medium-term plan for the development of scientific research and long-term guidelines for the development of science, research, and technologies.
Environmental protection has always been a focus of the Ministry of Defence. Already in the year 1999, specialists of the Ministry and the Armed Forces developed the first Environmental Protection Strategy of the Ministry of Defence and the National Armed Forces, and the Action Plan for achieving the objectives set in it.