Relations between the Baltic countries and Russia throughout the last two decades have been complicated and frequently contradictory. The Baltic integration into the European Union and NATO contributed to expectations among experts of prospective "normalization" and "stabilization" of relations. However, the character and patterns of the Baltic-Russian relationship in the aftermath of the transatlantic enlargement have become even more perplexing. This discursive change has contributed to the recent "de-securitization" of the Latvian-Russian interaction in the strategically important energy domain. However, it has shaken the previously established consensus in the Latvian society about the ideational and political frames of the country's interaction with Russia. Hence, "conflict manifestation" in relations with Russia effectively provided the Latvian leadership with means to strengthen the notion of Russia's "otherness", to distance the country from the former empire and to justify its domestic and international policies, including the necessity for "return to Europe", integration into Western institutions such as NATO and the European Union.