Latvia fully backs Pompeo on Crimea stance

Latvia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said July 26 it "expresses its strong support" for the Crimea Declaration issued by the United States Secretary of State on 25 July."

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave clear backing to the status of Crimea as a part of Ukraine's sovereign territory despite its occupation by the Russian Federation in a statement that appears to pre-empt any temptation by U.S. President Donald J. Trump to regard the annexation by Russia as something to be accepted.

"By that statement, the US reiterates its unwavering stance and support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The declaration affirms the consistency and permanence of the US foreign policy principles," Latvia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement, closely echoing similar swift reactions by the Estonian and Lithuanian foreign ministries.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also drew attention to parallels between Pompeo's Crimea Declaration and the Sumner Welles Declaration of 1940 which initiated the US policy of non-recognition of the occupation of the Baltic States by the USSR.

"In the Crimea Declaration, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refers to the Sumner Welles declaration and pledges that the US will maintain its policy of non-recognition of the annexation of Crimea until Ukraine’s territorial integrity is restored," the ministry said.

Latvia has as a matter of principle, condemned the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. That policy followed by Latvia has been in effect since 1 March 2014, when the President of Latvia, the Speaker of the Saeima (the Latvian Parliament), the Prime Minister, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs issued a joint statement “On Russia’s Interference in Ukraine”.

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