Ambassador to NATO assures of Latvia's defense spending boost

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It's certain that Latvia will reach defense spending of 2% of GDP in 2018 and it will be easier for Latvia as opposed to many other NATO countries, said Latvia's ambassador to NATO Indulis Bērziņš appearing on Latvian Radio March 31.

Bērziņš said there's no doubt that in 2018 Latvia's defense spending will reach 2% of GDP.

However other countries, such as Germany to which it means billions of spending, will face difficulty reaching the 2% threshold.

While southern European countries might have it even more difficult as they have to reach 2% of GDP but their budget deficit is limited by the EU.

He used the interview to say that the U.S. defense secretary and vice-president have both reaffirmed commitment to NATO and that President Trump’s statements on that matter have "been very responsible lately".

Bērziņš also noted that Latvia should not worry about Russia's Zapad 2017 exercise that will take place close to the Baltics, as NATO units will have arrived to the Baltics and Poland by then.

As reported, Canada-lead NATO forces will arrive to Latvia in the summer. Similar units will arrive to Estonia, Lithuania and Poland where they'll be lead by the UK, Germany, and the US respectively.

The deterrent forces to be deployed in response to Russia's 2014 occupation of Crimea.

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