Edgars Rinkēvičs
NATO karogi pie Rīgas pils

20 years ago, on 29 March 2004, Latvia joined the North Atlantic Treaty, becoming a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). Latvia, together with Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, were invited to join NATO at the NATO Summit in Prague in November 2002.

On Friday, 29 March at 8.00 am., in the presence of the President of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs, the NATO flag will be raised in the Holy Spirit Tower of the Riga Castle to mark the 20th anniversary of Latvia's membership of NATO and express gratitude for the Allied Forces in Latvia. A guard of honour ceremony is scheduled to take place at the Riga Castle at 07.40 am.

Since joining NATO in 2004, the Belgian Air Force has been tasked with the responsibility of safeguarding NATO airspace in Latvia and the Baltics. Currently, armed forces units and soldiers from more than half of the NATO Member States are providing daily defence and security on the ground in Latvia. The Multinational Division North is led by Denmark, and the Multinational Battle Group is led by Canada. Spain has deployed an air defence unit in Latvia, and German Air Force fighters provide air patrol flights from Lielvārde Air Base.

An armed attack against one or more of the Member States is considered an attack against all Member States. They are determined to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilisation of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law.

NATO was founded 75 years ago on 4 April 1949, and unchanged now, its 32 member states affirm their unwavering commitment to defend each other and every centimetre of Allied territory, people, freedom and democracy.

Information for the media:

Media opportunities: photo/video.

Media representatives are invited to confirm their participation by 12.00 on 28 March by contacting the Media Centre of the Chancery of the President of Latvia by e-mail prese@president.lv or by phone +371 67092157.