Latvia and France sign defense agreement

Latvian Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis  and French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian signed an agreement February 7 between their respective governments about defense cooperation, the LETA newswire reported.

The agreement provides for bilateral cooperation in defense aspects such as development of security and defense concepts, strategic communication, defense and planning policy, cyber defense, military information and communication systems and the related technologies, military exercises etc.

Bergmanis said that by signing the agreement, Latvia and France had demonstrated their ability to keep abreast of the times, just like the NATO summits in Wales and Warsaw showed that the alliance could change.

"Our countries can also do that because there are many ways in which we can cooperate in defense," he said, adding that Latvia was interested in resumption of the training of officers in France which was organized before 2008.

The French defense minister said that his country was and would be implementing with utmost responsibility the decisions made at the Warsaw summit regarding the deterrence policy and deployment of military units in the Baltic states. We are for peace and a positive dialogue, he said.

The new agreement will augment the legislative framework of Latvian-French bilateral defense cooperation. Previously the bilateral defense cooperation was based on an agreement signed between the Latvian and French defense ministries on May 11, 1994, in Paris.

France's most recent contribution to Baltic security came just a few months ago with the deployment of Mirage jets to perform air policing duties over Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

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