Canada and Poland likely to send armored vehicles and tanks to Latvia

Next year, Canada is likely to also deploy light-armored vehicles LAV 6.0 to Latvia, while Poland could deploy tanks to help strengthen the country's security, according to unofficial information reported by LETA newswire Thursday.

The Defense Ministry did not comment on this information. However Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis (Greens/Farmers) said earlier this month that the Canadian-led multinational battalion will include heavy weaponry.

The total number of soldiers will be greater than the approximately 1,000-large NATO battalion taking into account the deployment of U.S. troops already on the ground here.

Furthermore, a contingent of soldiers from one of the Visegrad countries will be in Latvia on a rotational basis as well from next year.

As reported, the Canadian-led multinational battalion in Latvia will receive 455 Canadian troops, Canadian Chief of Defense General Jonathan Vance said earlier this month.

Other countries involved in the battle group will be able to decide on the number of troops to be sent to Latvia. "We do not have any set numbers of troops for each country. I can tell that there will be about 1,000 troops in total," said Vance. "I think that the troops will start arriving next spring, around May. We will not bring equipment that will differ much from Latvia already has," he said.

It is believed that soldiers from Poland, Spain, Slovenia and Italy could make up the rest of the multi-national battalion, but the matter is expected to be cleared up after the upcoming meeting of NATO defense ministers in October.

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