Baltic diplomats discuss defense in Canada

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Mélanie Joly, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, is currently hosting a visit by Eva-Maria Liimets, Estonia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gabrielius Landsbergis, Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, Latvia’s Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from June 1 to 3, 2022.

The Baltic trio are in Québec, where they will discuss Russian President Putin’s illegal and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine, transatlantic collaboration on security and defence, defending against cyber and hybrid threats, as well as energy and food security.

The ministers will also meet with Canadian Armed Forces troops who were deployed on Operation REASSURANCE, Canada’s support to NATO’s assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe, and through which Canada leads NATO’s multinational enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia.

On June 3, the ministers will convene in Toronto, where they will meet with private-sector business leaders and participate in an armchair discussion hosted by Toronto Metropolitan University’s Democracy Forum. At the event, they will discuss democracy under threat from authoritarianism, President Putin’s ongoing military aggression in Ukraine and the Canada-Baltic relationship.

"I am pleased to welcome to Canada our friends from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Transatlantic security is more important than ever, and I look forward to building on Canada’s strong relationship with our Baltic allies so we can address the greatest security challenges of our time," said Joly ahead of the get-together.

Canada is currently contributing approximately 1,400 Canadian Armed Forces personnel to Operation REASSURANCE, which is Canada’s largest current international military deployment, in particular through its leadership of the multinational NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia since 2017.

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