Defense Minister: Latvia to train at least 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers this year

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The Latvian army's goal to train 3,000 Ukrainian soldiers this year is likely to be surpassed, Latvian Defense Minister Ināra Mūrniece (NA) said in an interview with the newswire LETA on June 12.

During the first year of the war, the Latvian National Armed Forces (NBS) could prepare 1,000 Ukrainian troops. This year started with a commitment to raise this figure. “We initially committed to training 2,000 this year, but with more and more requests for assistance from Ukraine, we found an opportunity to raise that number to 3,000. But Latvia would not be Latvia if we didn't think we could exceed it. It is a high ambition, and it is possible that we will exceed this number,” said Mūrniece.

Some Ukrainian soldiers arrive in Latvia with some combat experience on the front and go through specialized courses, but some are also unprepared civilian citizens, so this training is of paramount importance.

Mūrniece thanked the National Armed Forces (NBS) for their determination and consistency in carrying out this training. The training of Ukrainian soldiers also takes place despite the introduction in Latvia of the National Defense Service (VAD) and various other projects and the lack of instructors.

Mūrniece also said that, together with Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand, she had already announced a new cooperation program providing for the training of Ukrainian soldiers in Latvia along with the Canadians. Canada has already sent its instructors to Latvia, and the training is being carried out together.

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