Latvia marks 24 years of restored independence

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Latvia on Friday marked 24 years since independence was restored and the shackles of Soviet occupation were thrown off.

President Raimonds Vejonis led the commemorations in Riga, releasing a statement said in a statement in which he said:

"The independence of the Latvian state was expressly restored on the basis of the 1922 Constitution and the doctrine of the continuity of the state. After August 21, 1991, other countries recognized restoration of our independence and we regained the right to decide own fate and be free,” the Latvian president said.

"Today we can take pride in our accomplishments. We have successfully restored and strengthened our country, prosperity is growing and more opportunities open up. We have returned to the international community and have become full-fledged members of the EU and NATO.”

On August 21, 1991, the Latvian Supreme Council passed the constitutional bill on the status of the Republic of Latvia, restoring Latvia's de facto independence from the disintegrating Soviet Union.

Vejonis also referred to Latvia’s recently concluded term as the EU presiding country. "Twenty four years ago it would have seemed a far-fetched dream but today it is an accomplished fact,” the Latvian president said.

"As the centenary of the Republic of Latvia is approaching [in 2018], let us work together to make our Latvia even more successful and stronger.”

On Sunday 23rd a less happy commemoration will take place of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact that condemned the Baltic states to half a century of occupation.

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