Canada and Latvia to jointly train Ukrainian officers

Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand and the Minister of Defense of Latvia, Ināra Mūrniece, announced May 10 that Canada and Latvia will jointly train Ukrainian combat leaders on Latvian soil, starting next week.

The announcement was made during a visit by Mūrniece to Canada, which leads the multinational NATO presence stationed in Latvia.

According to a release from the Canadian Ministry of Defence, Minister Anand reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to Latvia’s security. Approximately 800 Canadian Armed Forces members are currently deployed to Latvia, where Canada has served as Framework Nation of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia since 2017. 

"Ministers Anand and Mūrniece announced that Canada and Latvia will jointly train Ukrainian combat leaders on Latvian soil, beginning as early as May 15 of this year. Jointly developed by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the Latvian National Armed Forces, this program will see CAF and Latvian National Armed Forces members delivering much-needed Junior Officer leadership development training for the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) through Operation UNIFIER," the release said. 

On May 9, 2023, the two ministers visited 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group at 4th Canadian Division Support Base Petawawa where they met with Canadian soldiers and participated in a tour of military vehicles and specialized equipment.

“Latvia and Canada are close NATO Allies, united through our strong defence relationship and mutual commitment to supporting Ukraine as it defends itself against Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable war. The expansion of our training for Ukrainian military officers will contribute to Ukraine’s battlefield success, and provide yet another opportunity for Canadian and Latvian troops to work together. I thank Minister Mūrniece for her strong cooperation, and I thank the people of Latvia for their ongoing hospitality to members of the Canadian Armed Forces,” said Anand.

As the Framework Nation for NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence in Latvia, Canada leads an eleven-nation multinational battle group and coordinates with Latvia and the contributing nations.

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