It is with deepest sorrow that we have learned on the passing on Sunday, April 30, of our friend Ronald D. Asmus, Executive Director of the Transatlantic Centre of the German Marshall Fund in Brussels. We express our sincere condolences to his relatives and colleagues.
“It is a great loss for all of us. Ron has been a brilliant diplomat and excellent scholar. He played a key role in NATO’s enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe thus contributing to the making of Europe free, whole and at peace,” said LATO Chairman of the Board Toms Baumanis. “He understood very well the historical dilemma of the Baltic nations, expressing his personal interest in Latvia as well as showing his support to Latvian people. His support of organising NATO Summit in Riga in 2006 was crucial. We owe our security to him.”
As the U.S. Deputy Assistant of Secretary of State for European Affairs (1997-2000), he opened up the doors of NATO to many nations of Eastern Europe, and for his merits he had been decorated by many European governments, including Latvia. He was the author of two widely acclaimed books – Opening NATO’s Door (2002) and The Little War That Shook the World (2010), and till the very end he remained a committed Atlanticist working hard on the strengthening of transatlantic relations.
Ronald D. Asmus – the man who changed the world we live in. He will ever be in our minds and hearts as a true friend of Latvia.