YTN Event: A Conversation with Latvian Ambassador Andris Razāns
Jessica Hirsch, Program Coordinator, Transatlantic Academy, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
H.E. Andris Razāns, Latvian Ambassador to the United States
Jennifer Diamond, Program Coordinator, Europe Program, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
On April 14th, the German Marshall Fund of the United States’ (GMF) Washington, DC chapter of its Young Transatlantic Network hosted Latvian Ambassador Andris Razāns for a candid, off-the-record conversation on Latvia’s role in Europe and the future of the transatlantic relationship. Four months into its EU Council Presidency, Latvia is ambitiously moving forward with a number of strategic priorities for the Council’s work on EU legislation, agenda-setting, and facilitating cooperation among member states. Latvia’s leadership role has taken on additional importance, as the EU’s engagement in its Eastern Neighborhood has been complicated by Russian aggression in Ukraine.
With a distinguished diplomatic career and years of service in the Latvian government, Ambassador Razāns offered his thoughts on Latvian domestic and foreign policy, the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga, the prospects for both NATO and EU membership for the countries on Europe’s eastern border, and the strategic implications of the Ukraine crisis. The conversation was moderated by Jennifer Diamond, GMF’s Program Coordinator for the Europe Program, with an introduction by Jessica Hirsch, Program Coordinator with GMF’s Transatlantic Academy. The event was attended by representatives from the diplomatic, think tank, academic, government, private, and media sectors.
The Young Transatlantic Network (YTN) is a flagship initiative of GMF specifically geared toward young professionals 35 years old and younger. The network aims to strengthen transatlantic relations by offering the next generation of leaders opportunities to critically engage on core challenges facing Europe and the United States, as well as new issues posed by the increasing geographic reach of transatlantic cooperation. GMF currently has YTN chapters in Brussels, Berlin, Warsaw, and Washington, DC.