History of Latvia
Dear Romanian reader,
It is my pleasure to welcome the publication of “Istoria Letoniei” in the Romanian language.
This is an important event for both of our nations and it provides an excellent opportunity for people in Romania to learn about Latvia in greater detail, and that is of tremendous significance.
It should be underlined that this book came about through the mutual efforts of well-known Latvian and Romanian historians. Their constructive co-operation brings us a balanced, objective account of Latvia’s history running from times before recorded history, right up to the present and the fruits of the latest academic research.
I offer thanks to our Honorary Consul Ioan Donca for his enthusiastic support on this initiative and I applaud the Asociatia Romana pentru Studii Baltice si Nordice and the project’s co-ordinator, Professor Silviu Miloiu, for bringing this noteworthy project to a successful conclusion.
Though it could easily take over a day to drive from Riga to Bucharest, the distance measured through common history makes us much closer and this book demonstrates it. Too often, our countries were pulled inexorably into harsh uncertain times and these events left their indelible imprints, shaping the views of our people and the nature of their land, as well as adding to the strength of their character.
We have been together when the going was tough and we have stood up together for freedom on our continent, for the rights of nations to exercise their democratic choice, and we have both opposed and withstood misguided irrational ideologies and the tendency of certain great powers to impose their will and their interests on others. Now Latvia and Romania are building security and democracy in Europe together and helping to unite Europe’s north and south, and guide it to a better and more stable future.
I am sure that this book will be a good source for all who value the friendship between Latvia and Romania and that it will further reinforce our shared perspectives that are becoming closer year by year.
Those who ignore what was difficult in history and do not rise to the occasion when pressed by difficulties of the present may find themselves with neither a past nor a future. History is a guide; it fosters the formation of any character, helping it to mature, to grow and make the right decisions. With this in mind, I wish that you will come away enriched by your reading, and with a fresh understanding of my country.
Foreign Minister of the Republic of Latvia, and a historian by training