Latvia and the two other Baltic states—Lithuania and Estonia—are located at the crossroads of the East and West. Their proximity to Russia, with which they share historic ties and proficiency in the Russian language, has attracted Russian money to the region, and vice versa.
However, as this paper by Evija Djatkoviča shows, Russia’s economic presence in Latvia often takes the form of corrosive capital.
While this analysis focuses exclusively on Russia’s malign economic footprint in Latvia, Moscow’s regional foreign policy toolkit, including ethnic Russian communities, and geopolitical ambitions expose the three Baltic states much more broadly to Russia’s influence.
Russian corrosive capital in Latvia, in particular, and the Baltic states, in general, is a complex phenomenon that is rooted in history. Addressing this problem, therefore, requires a collaborative effort by the private and public sectors to bring about structural change.
The publication is supported by the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE). CIPE is not responsible for the content of this publication, or for any use that may be made of it. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) alone. These views do not necessarily reflect those of CIPE.
Evija Djatkoviča is a Research Fellow at the Latvian Institute of International Affairs. Her research interests cover the EU’s Eastern Partnership countries, Belarus in particular, regional security of the Baltic states, their hard and soft power relations with Russia, and the role of NATO on the Eastern flank.
She has a background in political science (University of Latvia). Since 2020, Evija holds a position of Research Fellow at the Latvian Institute of International Affairs and Riga Stradins University. Formerly she worked in policy consulting, at the OSCE ODIHR election observation missions and the Slovak Embassy in Latvia focusing on the analysis of the Baltic states’ policies.