On Thursday, 23 July, Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis sent a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama, saying that this day marks 75 years since the signing of declaration of independence of Baltic States by U.S. Secretary of State Sumner Welles. Vejonis expressed his gratitude to USA for refusing to acknowledge Baltic States as part of the Soviet Union in 1940.
In his letter, the President emphasizes that USA’s position on this matter was important for Latvia then and it remains important now, noting that Welle’s declaration had a positive impact on the process of international events, motivating other countries to defend principles that lie in the foundation of world peace and international order. Vejonis wrote that this declaration actualized Latvia’s occupation as a matter that required attention of the international community. It also provided necessary support for Latvia’s freedom and paved the way for the return to the Euro-Atlantic family of nations, as reported by State President’s Chancellery.
In his letter to his American counterpart, Vejonis wrote that three years from now Latvia will be celebrating the 100th anniversary since the foundation of the Latvian state. In spite of the country’s unstable history in the 20th century, Latvians can proudly say that diplomatic ties between Latvia and USA remain strong, Vejonis writes. He adds that Latvians will always remember how USA kept faith in hard times and this memory will help strengthen mutual friendship. This friendship, Vejonis notes, is reflected in active and intensive modern political dialogue, close international cooperation, lasting support and day-to-day teamwork.
Latvia’s President also mentioned joint goals shared by the two countries. He especially noted strategic cooperation in the work fueled by love for freedom and democracy and aimed to ensure global security and stability. He also thanked the American President for his congratulation extended when Vejonis officially became President of Latvia. The new President confirmed he intends to develop closer cooperation between Latvia and USA in his work.
As it is known, on 23 July 1940 Sumner Welles, then the U.S. Secretary of State, condemned USSR’s violent occupation of Baltic States. The Soviet Union’s occupation of its neighbouring countries was deemed illegitimate and contrary to common sense, fairness and justice, which form the foundation for the civilized world. Thanks to Welles, this position was officially adopted by USA and more than 50 other countries of the world.