Declaration of the Supreme Soviet of the Latvian SSR
"On the Renewal of the Independence of the Republic of Latvia"


May 4, 1990


The independent State of Latvia, founded on November 18, 1918, was granted international recognition in 1920 and became an equal in rights the member of the League of Nations in 1921. The Latvian Nation's right to self-determination was implemented in April 1920, when the People of Latvia gave their mandate to the Constituent Assembly chosen by universal, equal, direct and proportional elections. In February 15, 1922, the Assembly adopted the Satversme of the Republic of Latvia, which is still in effect de jure;

The ultimatum of June 16, 1940 from the Stalinist Government of the USSR to the Latvian Government, asking for its resignation, and the following military aggression of the USSR on June 17, 1940, constitute international crimes, which resulted in the occupation of Latvia and the liquidation of its statehood. The new government of Latvia was formed by the dictate of the Government of the USSR. According to international law, this government did not represent the executive authority of the sovereign Republic of Latvia, since it represented the interests of the USSR instead of those of Latvia;

The elections of July 14 and 15, 1940 to the Parliament (Saeima) of occupied Latvia were held under conditions of political terror after an illegal and unconstitutional election law had been adopted. Of the 17 lists of candidates submitted, only one was permitted in the elections - the list of the Working People's Bloc. The pre-election platform of the Working People's Bloc did not include any demand to establish Soviet power in Latvia or to join the Republic of Latvia into the Soviet Union. Moreover, the results of the elections were falsified;

Thus, the illegally and fraudulently formed Saeima did not represent the will of the People of Latvia. It had no constitutional powers to change the state system and liquidate the sovereignty of the State of Latvia. Only the People had the right to decide on these matters, but no free referendum was held;

Hence, according to international law, the incorporation of the Republic of Latvia into the Soviet Union is invalid. Accordingly, the Republic of Latvia continues to exist de jure as a subject of international law and is recognized as such by more than 50 nations of the world;

Taking into account the "Declaration on the Sovereignty of the Latvian State" adopted by the Supreme Soviet of the Latvian SSR on July 28, 1989; the "Declaration on the Issue of the Independence of the Latvian State" adopted by the Latvian Supreme Soviet on February 15, 1990; and the "Appeal of the All-Latvia Meeting of People's Deputies" of April 21, 1990;

Observing the will of the residents of Latvia, which was unmistakably expressed by the election of a majority of deputies who had expressed the determination to restore the independence of the Republic of Latvia;

Being determined to restore de facto the free, democratic and independent Republic of Latvia;

The Supreme Soviet of the Latvian SSR resolves:

1. To recognize the supremacy of the fundamental principles of international law over national law. To consider illegal the Treaty of August 23, 1939 between the USSR and Germany, and the subsequent liquidation of the sovereignty of the Republic of Latvia on June 17, 1940 which was the result of the USSR military aggression.

2. To declare null and void from the moment of adoption the Decision of July 21, 1940 of the Saeima of Latvia: "On the Republic of Latvia's Joining the USSR".

3. To renew the authority of the Satversme of the Republic of Latvia, adopted by the Constituent Assembly on February 15, 1992, in the entire territory of Latvia.

The official name of the State of Latvia is "The Republic of Latvia", abbreviated as "Latvia".

4. Until the adoption of the new wording of the Satversme, to suspend the Satversme of the Republic of Latvia, except for the Articles expressing the constitutional and legal foundation of the State of Latvia, which, according to Article 77 of the Satversme can be amended only by referendum:

Article 1 - Latvia is an independent and democratic Republic.

Article 2 - The sovereign power of the State of Latvia belongs to the People of Latvia.

Article 3 - The territory of the State of Latvia shall consist of Vidzeme, Latgale, Kurzeme and Zemgale, within the boundaries stipulated by international treaties.

Article 6 - The Saeima shall be elected in general, equal, direct and secret elections on the basis of proportional representation.

The application of Article 6 will follow the renewal of those state authority and administration structures of Latvia which guarantee free elections.

5. To set a transition period for the renewal of the defacto independence of the Republic of Latvia, which will conclude with the convening of the Saeima of the Republic of Latvia. During the transition period, supreme state authority in Latvia is held by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia.

6. During the transition period, to consider possible to implement those constitutional and other legislative acts of the Latvian SSR which are in effect in Latvia when this Declaration is adopted, insofar as they do not contradict Articles 1, 2, 3 and 6 of the Satversme of the Republic of Latvia.

Conflicts of implementation of legislative acts shall be resolved by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia.

Only the Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia is entitled to adopt the new legislative acts or to amend the existing acts during the transition period.

7. To form a commission for developing the new wording of the Satversme of the Republic of Latvia, so that it would correspond to thre present political, economic and social situation in Latvia.

8. To guarantee citizens of the Republic of Latvia and those of other states permanently residing in Latvia social, economic and cultural rights, as well as those political rights and freedoms which comply with the universally recognized international human rights instruments. To apply these rights in full extent also to those citizens of the USSR who will express the desire to continue residing in the territory of Latvia without accepting its citizenship.

9. To develop relations between the Republic of Latvia and the USSR in accordance with the Peace Treaty between Latvia and Russia of August 11, 1920, which is still in force and which recognizes the independence of Latvia forever. To establish a Government commission for conducting negotiations with the USSR.

The Declaration takes effect as of the moment of its adoption.

Chairman, Supreme Soviet of the Latvian SSR
A.Gorbunovs

Secretary, Supreme Soviet of the Latvian SSR
I.Daudiss


Translation (C) by the Latvia Law Institute. All rights reserved. Other translations available. E-mail: latjurinst@parks.lv