Stoltenberg: "NATO can count on Latvia. And Latvia can count on NATO"

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš to NATO Headquarters in Brussels on May 24, thanking him for Latvia’s contributions to the Alliance, including leadership on defense spending, and deployments to maritime operations and missions in Kosovo and Iraq.

"Latvia also provides substantial political and military support to Ukraine and we are extremely grateful for the strong support that you are providing, including through NATO’s comprehensive assistance package and by training thousands of Ukrainian soldiers in Latvia together with Canada," said Stoltenberg at a joint press conference, adding "NATO can count on Latvia. And Latvia can count on NATO."

Looking ahead to the NATO Summit to be held in Lithuania in July, the Secretary General said: “It is vital that we step up and sustain our support to ensure Ukraine prevails as a free and sovereign nation. In Vilnius we will also continue to strengthen our own deterrence and defence – with new regional defence plans, a new force model, and a strengthened command structure. And I expect we will agree on an ambitious new defence investment pledge in Vilnius with 2 percent of GDP as a floor, not a ceiling.”

For his part, Kariņš responded to a question about Swedish accession to NATO saying: "I am absolutely confident that Sweden will become the thirty-second NATO member state, and the open question is exactly when that final decision with the ratification will occur. But I don't feel that this in any way would hamper – or is hampering – NATO’s plans. NATO is making plans. NATO knows that Sweden will be a member, and I'm confident that this will happen."

The joint press conference of the two leaders can be heard below.

Stoltenberg-Karins press point
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