Merkel: NATO Article 5 is for real

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered staunch backing for Latvia's external security Monday, insisting that NATO's Article 5 commitment to defend all its member states equally is more than mere words.

Speaking after talks with Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma in Riga, Merkel said: “Article 5 is not only a hypothetical policy, it is a real policy... it could be used at some point in the future... we must show we will respond whenever this threat increases and speak with a single voice.”

Germany will continue contributing warplanes to the rotating Baltic Air Policing mission as well as providing any other support needed, Merkel said.

“We will continue training in the air. We must also continue training on an Article 5 basis to show the Baltic States have the capability to respond to any threat.

“Germany is ready to provide its contribution. Citizens of Latvia, the Baltic states and Poland can rest assured we will provide all the support necessary,” the German leader affirmed.

Article 5 is not only a hypothetical policy, it is a real policy"

She also backed the continuation of European Union sanctions imposed against Russia over the situation in Ukraine, despite the prospect of economic pain at home.

“Sanctions were necessary in order to show how serious we are. If we sat still and allowed the situation to escalate that would not be a desirable situation,” Merkel said.

Straujuma said she was in full agreement saying: “What the EC did in imposing sanctions was an inevitable step as it was important to show Europe's attitude towards what is happening in Ukraine.”

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