Latvia names new ambassador to U.S.

Latvia’s newest ambassador to the United States has received his letter of accreditation from President Andris Bērziņš.

Andris Razāns will replace Andrejs Pildegovičs, who since 2007 has served as Latvia’s top diplomat in Washington, D.C., according to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release.

Razāns was born in 1967 in Balvi. He received his master’s degree in history from the University of Latvia in 1993.

Razāns began working in the ministry’s Political Department in 1992. Besides working in Rīga, Razāns also has served in the Latvian embassies in Denmark and Sweden. From 2005-2009 he was Latvia’s ambassador to Denmark, and from 2007-2009 also was his country’s nonresident ambassador to Morocco.

Razāns also was the foreign affairs adviser to President Guntis Ulmanis (1998-2000) and to President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga (2004-2005). He also advised prime ministers Indulis Emsis and Aigars Kalvītis.

Pildegovičs, meanwhile, will return to Rīga to take over Razāns’ post as the under-secretary of state and political director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The announcement of Razāns as the new ambassador to Washington follows a week of high-level visits by American officials to Rīga, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on June 28; a group of nine members of the U.S. Congress from June 29-30; and a delegation of 20 American business leaders from July 1-3.

Meanwhile, U.S. Ambassador Judith Garber has ended her term in Rīga and will be replaced by Mark Pekala, whose appointment was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 29.

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