Latvia and Ukraine

Latvia is the fifth on the per GDP and deeply supportive of Ukraine’s victory to drive the Russian invaders out its territory.

Total commitments

0.419bn € (Rank: 24)

1.154% of GDP (Rank: 5)

Military commitments

0.376bn € (Rank: 18)

1.034% of GDP (Rank: 4)

Humanitarian commitments

0.008bn € (Rank: 33)

0.021% of GDP (Rank: 20)

Financial commitments

0.036bn € (Rank: 21)

0.099% of GDP (Rank: 10)

Video from Zelenskyy TG, in Kyiv, Text of From Ukrainian Foreign Ministry



1. Recognition of Ukraine: December 4, 1991.

2. Establishment of diplomatic relations: February 12, 1992.

3. Political relations

Political dialogue between Ukraine and the Republic of Latvia is traditionally active.

President Egils Levits, Speaker (o the 13th Saeima) Ināra Mūrniece, Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs were among the first foreign high-ranking officials to visit Ukraine and Kyiv since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion on February 24, 2022. During 2022, a total of 9 events took place at the highest and high political levels.

In 2023, the following events took place: a visit of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs to Ukraine as part of a delegation of seven foreign ministers of the Baltic and Northern European countries (April 28, 2023), a visit of Prime Minister of Latvia Krišjānis Kariņš (March 16, 2023), a meeting of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and President Egils Levits of Latvia during President Egils Levits’ visit to Ukraine to participate in the “United for Justice” conference in Lviv (March 3, 2023), a visit to Latvia by Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Olena Kondratyuk (February 19-22, 2023), a visit to Ukraine by a delegation of the Saeima led by Speaker Edvards Smiltēns (January 12-15, 2023).

Within the framework of bilateral relations, the Intergovernmental Ukrainian-Latvian Commission on Economic, Industrial, and Scientific-Technical Cooperation operates, the last meeting of which was held in Riga on March 21-24, 2023. In the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine there is a group on interparliamentary relations with the Republic of Latvia, which is co-chaired by Taras Tarasenko (Faction of the political party “Servant of the People”) and Solomiya Bobrovska (Faction of the political party “Voice”), and which consists of 9 deputies. The Parliament (Saeima) of Latvia also has a group for promoting inter-parliamentary relations, chaired by Janis Skrastins (New Unity party) and consisting of 35 deputies.

To promote bilateral relations, there is Intergovernmental Ukrainian-Latvian Commission on Economic, Industrial, and Scientific-Technical Cooperation, whose last meeting was held in Riga on March 21-24, 2023. In the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine there is a Group on Interparliamentary Cooperation with the Republic of Latvia, which is co-chaired by Taras Tarasenko (Faction of the political party “Servant of the People”) and Solomiya Bobrovska (Faction of the political party “Holos”), consisting of 9 deputies. The Parliament (Saeima) of Latvia has a Group for Promoting Cooperation with the Parliament of Ukraine, chaired by Jānis Skrastiņš (New Unity party), consisting of 35 deputies.

4. Support and solidarity of Latvia and Latvians

Since the beginning of the Russian aggression in 2014, Latvia has actively supported the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine within internationally recognized borders, our fight against the illegal occupation of Crimea, parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

After the start of the full-scale Russian invasion on February 24, 2022, the assistance to Latvia increased: M109A5 howitzers, helicopters, anti-tank guns, Stinger MANPADS, the first of which arrived in Ukraine on February 23, 2022, anti-tank grenade launchers, small arms, ammunition, UAVs, helmets, body armor, tactical equipment, military dry rations and first aid kits. By the percentage of national GDP spent on aid to Ukraine, which has already reached 1.3%, Latvia regularly holds the first positions among our Western partners. In addition, the country accepts military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for training and education.

The Saeima of Latvia adopted a number of statements in support of Ukraine, among which the most important are: Statement on resolute condemnation of military aggression and large-scale invasion of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, the participation of Belarus in the invasion, the gross violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine (February 24, 2022); Statement recognizing the actions of the armed forces of the Russian Federation in Ukraine as genocide of the Ukrainian people (April 21, 2022). Statement recognizing the actions of the Russian Federation in Ukraine as terrorism, and the Russian Federation as a state sponsor of terrorism (August 11, 2022); Statement supporting the investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity of the Russian Federation in Ukraine by the International Criminal Court, as well as the creation of a specialized international tribunal (in addition to the ICC) for the crime of aggression against Ukraine (December 8, 2022).

Latvia consistently and proactively supports Ukraine within the framework of all the international legal formats and initiatives regarding the future prosecution of the Russian Federation as a state, as well as its individual institutions, organizations, and individuals, for the aggression against Ukraine and war crimes and crimes against humanity. In particular, on March 8, 2022, Prosecutor General of Ukraine Irina Venediktova and of Latvia Juris Stukans signed a memorandum on cooperation of the countries in the criminal investigation of crimes related to armed conflicts. On March 17, 2022, the State Security Service of Latvia initiated criminal proceedings under three articles of the Criminal Code of Latvia for the crimes against humanity, crimes against peace and war crimes by the armed forces of the Russian Federation. On May 31, 2022, in The Hague, Latvia joined the Joint Investigative Group for the investigation of serious international crimes in Ukraine. On July 21, 2022, Latvia submitted a declaration to the International Court of Justice to take part as a third party in the case “Accusations of Genocide in accordance with the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” (Ukraine v. Russian Federation), on August 9, 2022 Latvia submitted a declaration to the ECHR to take part as a third party in the case “Ukraine v. Russian Federation”. Latvia also co-sponsored the UN General Assembly Resolution Res. L.6/2022 on the compensations and reparations in connection with the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine (November 16, 2022).

Latvia actively supports Ukraine on its way to the EU. On May 8, 2021, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and President of Latvia Egils Levits, signed the Joint Declaration on the European perspective of Ukraine. On March 1, 2022, the Government of Latvia approved a national position on supporting Ukraine’s membership in the European Union and granting Ukraine candidate status, as well as called on other EU member states to do the same immediately. On March 3, 2022, the Saeima of Latvia unanimously adopted a statement in support of granting Ukraine the status of a candidate country in the EU, a call to European institutions to work on granting Ukraine this status as soon as possible, and an invitation to all EU member states to support Ukraine in its efforts to become a full member and support Ukraine’s status as a candidate for EU membership.

Similarly, Latvia consistently supports Ukraine’s full membership in NATO. On September 30, 2022, after Ukraine officially applied to join NATO, Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs joined his Lithuanian and Estonian colleagues in declaring the full support of the Baltic countries for Ukraine’s full accession to NATO as soon as possible. On March 3, 2023, as part of his visit to Ukraine to participate in the “United for Justice” conference in Lviv, President of Latvia Egils Levits signed with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy a bilateral Declaration on Latvia’s support for Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration. On June 1, 2023, the Saeima of Latvia adopted a Statement of support for Ukraine at the NATO Summit in Vilnius, calling for Ukraine to be officially invited to NATO during the event.

5. Humanitarian and financial aid

Since the beginning of the full-scale Russian war against Ukraine, the Government of Latvia, Latvian local self-government and public organizations have been actively providing the much-needed humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

The Government of Latvia has provided humanitarian aid worth about 8 million euros, which includes ambulances, medical equipment and medicines, patrol cars, buses and generators, personal protective equipment for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as well as means, allocated by the Government from the country’s material reserve, to overcome the consequences of the terrorist attack on the Kakhovka HPP, carried out by the Russian occupying forces.

Latvian municipalities have provided assistance of about 3 million euros, including 700,000 euros from the Riga City Council for the purchase of diesel generators and heat guns for the needs of the city of Kyiv, special transport and equipment for the emergency and repair teams of MKP “Mykolaivvodokanal”, 21 Mercedes Benz Citaro passenger city bus loaded with 130 tons of humanitarian aid from the city of Riga to the city of Kyiv, essential goods for the population of the regions of Ukraine affected by the explosion of the Kakhovka HPP dam, vehicles from the Latvian cities of Valka, Valmiera, Ogre, humanitarian aid cargoes and vehicles from the cities of Ventspils, Liepaja, Ogre, Valmiera, Preili, Bauska, Aizkraukle.

Latvian NGOs have collected monetary and technical assistance worth about 42 million euros. 90 Latvian societies and foundations are involved in the assistance. The largest donors are “” (22 million euros), “Entrepreneurs for Peace” fund (5.5 million), “Tavi Draugi” (5 million), “Twitter Convoy”/Association “Agendum” (4 million euros), “TEV” association (4 million), Confederation of Ukrainian Societies in Latvia “VICHE” (1 million euros), Association of Samaritans of Latvia (850,000 euros), ” Viegli palīdzēt” (790,000 euros ). 21 million of aid was provided directly to the Armed Forces, including off-road vehicles and pickup trucks, ATVs, diesel fuel, generators, camouflage nets, tactical food rations, small arms and cartridges, body armor, military uniforms, helmets, night vision goggles, thermal imaging cameras, Starlink stations , satellite phones, walkie-talkies, drones. Humanitarian and medical aid for the Armed Forces amounted to 14.6 million euros, including food and hygiene products, medicines, dressing materials, small generators, charging stations, etc.

In the conditions of the unprovoked illegal Russian war against Ukraine, Latvia provided asylum to more than 47,000 temporarily displaced persons from our state, including long-term national visas or residence permits with the right to work, primary support, accommodation and food services, basic necessities, state medical services .

Latvia also accepts Ukrainian servicemen for treatment and rehabilitation, organizes rest and socialization in summer camps for children who were forced to seek temporary refuge in the country from the Russian war.

6. Trade and economic relations

During 2022, despite the negative effects of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, as well as logistical obstacles, caused primarily by the loss of rail connections between Ukraine and Latvia through Russia’s aggression accessory Belarus, the countries generally managed to maintain the dynamics of mutual trade in goods.

In January-February 2022, Ukrainian-Latvian trade indicators continued growing, just as in 2021 after a decrease in 2020 against the background of the pandemic crisis. At the same time, since March 2022, there has been a change in the structure of bilateral trade with a decrease in Ukraine’s exports to Latvia, with a simultaneous increase in the imports of Latvian goods to Ukraine. According to the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine data, in January-September 2022, the volume of trade in goods between Ukraine and Latvia amounted to 354.6 million euros. The export of goods amounted to 203.6 million dollars (93% of the indicators of the same period in 2021); the import of goods – 151.2 million dollars (103% of the indicators of the same period in 2021). The trade balance is positive for Ukraine – 52.4 million dollars.

The structure of trade in goods between Ukraine and Latvia is dominated by the supply of agricultural, chemical and pharmaceutical products.

There is an office of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) in Ukraine.

Currently, 1,073 enterprises with investments of Ukrainian origin are registered in Latvia. Ukraine ranks 16th in Latvia by the volume of investments by residents of Ukraine in the fixed capital of Latvian entities (107,1 million euros).

7. Cultural and humanitarian cooperation

Cultural cooperation is regulated by such bilateral documents as the Agreement between the Government of Ukraine and the Government of the Republic of Latvia on cooperation in the field of education, science and culture (1995), the Agreement on cooperation in the field of culture between the Ministry of Culture and Arts of Ukraine and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia (2002).

In 2022, as part of the Ukrainian Bookshelf project under the patronage of the First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska, the Embassy of Ukraine in Latvia opened shelves with Ukrainian literature in the National Library of Latvia and the Riga Central Library. In May 2023, the “Ukrainian Bookshelf” was opened in the Central Library of the city of Ogre. Also, the Academic Library of the University of Latvia has a Ukrainian information center, with Ukrainian literature of various genres for adults and children.

Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of the territory of Ukraine in February 2022, cooperation with Latvia in the field of culture has been focused on: 1) supporting Ukrainian cultural figures who were forced to leave Ukraine due to the war and promoting the continuation of their cultural activities; 2) support of Ukrainian temporarily displaced persons staying in Latvia, meeting their cultural needs; 3) integration of Ukrainian citizens into the Latvian environment, in particular by studying the Latvian language, culture, and traditions; 4) popularization of Ukrainian culture in Latvia; 5) conducting cultural and artistic events in support of Ukraine.

An important achievement of cooperation between Ukraine and Latvia in the field of culture is the launchin of “Creative scholarship program for citizens of Ukraine” with the aim of providing support to creative persons in the field of culture, within the framework of which a creative citizen of Ukraine has the opportunity to receive a one-time scholarship for creative work for a period of 3 months (600 euros/month).

On June 1, 2023, the Government of Latvia supported the Ministry of Culture’s proposal to allocate 2,503,239 euros to the Society Integration Fund to provide cultural orientation courses and integration activities for citizens of Ukraine.

On a regular basis, events aimed at popularizing Ukrainian culture, art, customs and traditions are held on the occasion of state-level commemorative dates and anniversaries. Among the most significant cultural events held within the framework of cultural cooperation are: 1) the tour of the National Chamber Ensemble of Ukraine “Kyiv Soloists” (April 2022), 2) the performance of the Kyiv Academic Theater of Drama and Comedy on the left bank of the Dnieper (April-June 2022) ); 3) a concert by the famous Ukrainian composer Valentin Sylvestrov (December 2022), 4) an exhibition of paintings by the famous Ukrainian artist Ivan Marchuk (January 2023); 5) an exhibition of works by students of Mykhailo Boychuk Kyiv State Academy of Decorative and Applied Arts and Design “Roots of the Ukrainian Soul” (February 2023).

An important direction is also the implementation of projects for the introduction of Ukrainian language audio guides in the leading museums of Latvia, such as the National Art Museum of Latvia.

Active cooperation between Ukraine and Latvia is carried out in the field of preservation of cultural heritage in the conditions of war. As an example of such cooperation, the work of Latvian experts in Ukraine, who conducted three-dimensional scanning of cultural heritage sites in Ukraine, recorded damage and received data for planning the strengthening and restoration of cultural monuments damaged during the war, while transferring experience and training to Ukrainian specialists.

8. Scientific and educational cooperation

Scientific and educational cooperation s regulated by the Agreement between the Government of Ukraine and the Government of the Republic of Latvia on cooperation in the field of education, science, youth and sports (September 29, 2017), the Agreement between the Government of Ukraine and the Government of the Republic of Latvia on cooperation in the field of education, science and culture (November 21, 1995)

After the beginning of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, Latvia provided maximum assistance to Ukrainian students and young scientists to continue their studies or start research in higher educational institutions or scientific institutions of Latvia.

In particular, Ukrainian students have the right to enter any university in Latvia or to transfer to specialized Latvian educational facilities for the same course as in they were in back in Ukraine, on the basis of the final document with grades issued in Ukraine. Public and a number of private universities in Latvia offered Ukrainian students free tuitions or discounts on studies. At the same time, in the case of full-time studies, citizens of Ukraine can apply for a state scholarship.

Ukrainian scientists who have continued their research in universities or scientific institutions of Latvia are granted a research scholarship by the state to carry out scientific or academic work.

9. Contractual and legal basis

The legal base of Ukraine and Latvia consists of 92 documents, of which 5 are international agreements, 28 intergovernmental agreement, 3 interparliamentary agreements and 56 are interagency documents.

The basis for a successful development of relations is the Agreement on Friendship and Cooperation between Ukraine and the Republic of Latvia signed in 1995.

Work continues on the development of the contractual and legal basis of bilateral relations.

10. Ukrainian community

About 42,000 ethnic Ukrainians live on the territory of Latvia – scientists, doctors, entrepreneurs, athletes. The largest number of ethnic Ukrainians lives in the cities of Riga and Jurmala.

There are Ukrainian public organizations active in the country, which actively help Ukraine: Confederation of Ukrainians of Latvia “VICHE” (unites 5 organizations: “Sich”, Ukrainian cultural center “Dzherelo”, Center for Ukrainian Studies, society of Ukrainian youth of Latvia “Vector – Europe” and “Ukrainian-Latvian Friendship” society), Congress of Ukrainians of Latvia, Society of Support for Ukraine, Cultural Center “Latvia-Ukraine”, Ventspils Ukrainian Cultural Society “Kobzar”, Center of Ukrainian Culture “Mriya”.

There is a Riga Ukrainian Secondary School, founded in 1991 (financed from the Latvian state budget), which is the only educational institution in the Baltic States where Ukrainian language and literature are taught at a professional level.

On the basis of the Academic Library of the University of Latvia in Riga operates the Ukrainian Information Center, which cares for the preservation of Ukrainian cultural heritage and promotes its popularization in Latvia.

  • Medical equipment worth €29,996 (platelet mass storage equipment, scales for blood preparation, centrifuge, blood separation equipment, and other devices from the State Blood Donor Centre and mobile melting devices, scales for blood preparation and transportation temperature meters from its cooperation partner “ECT Nordic OÜ”).[194]
  • 66 cars [From March 2023 onwards].[250]
Self-propelled howitzers Helicopters Drones
  • 90+ unmanned aerial vehicles donated by Latvian companies and delivered to the Armed Forces of Ukraine by the Ministry of Defence of Latvia [from 2022 onwards].[253][254]
Air defense systems Small arms
  • Dozens of machine guns with ammunition [To be delivered].[254]
Miscellaneous equipment Training and rehabilitation
  • Training of 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers [1,000 in 2022; 2,000 to be trained in 2023].[254]
  • Demining training.[257]
  • Rehabilitation of 250 soldiers [130 in 2022, 120 to be rehabilitated in 2023].[258]
Financial aid