Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 112

Returning from a U.S. visit, Latvian foreign minister Valdis Birkavs told a Riga briefing that he has notified deputy secretary of state Strobe Talbott in a memorandum that Latvia will apply for security consultations with the NATO alliance as per the Partnership for Peace program, if Russia continues to issue military threats to the Baltic states. Birkavs was referring inter alia to the recent document, widely publicized as a draft military doctrine, envisaging a Russian invasion of the Baltic states if necessary to preempt their accession to NATO. Birkavs added that "Russia’s attempts at international blackmail are absolutely hopeless" as they "will most likely strengthen Latvia’s decision to join NATO." They also show that "Moscow does not want to recognize that NATO is an alliance of democratic countries." (16)

No country of the former Soviet bloc has used the security consultations procedure thus far. Latvia’s application, if submitted, would test how the procedure would work in practice. NATO’s cooperation agreements with each individual country participating in the Partnership for Peace program entitle each country to demand security consultations with NATO and high-level meetings with its leadership if that country sees a threat to its territorial integrity, national security, or independence. A mechanism by which PfP countries would use this right has not yet been worked out.

"Western Monopolies" Back in Moscow’s Demonology.