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Canada ready to send deterrence force to Latvia

The Canada-led NATO multi-national battalion to be deployed in Latvia will send a clear message to Russia about transparent and open deterrence of any aggression, Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan told the LETA newswire October 27.

Canada will be the lead nation of the multi-national battalion to be deployed in Latvia with Albania, Italy, Poland and Slovenia also contributing troops to the battalion.

Sajjan confirmed that more countries might decide to join the NATO battalion in future and that there would be regular rotation of troops.

He said that every country had own unique capacity and the multi-national battalions would demonstrate their ability to join forces to create a strong battle group that would benefit from the unique contributions of each participating nation.

By organizing such battalions, NATO is clearly showing to Russia what is the meaning of open and transparent deterrence policy, the Canadian defense minister said. It must be done to build an open dialogue with Russia because we want them to be able to start an open and meaningful dialogue based on mutual trust, he said, in an interview reported without any directly attributable quotes.

Sajjan praised cooperation with Latvia so far and said the two countries had excellent relationship. Latvia has already lived up to our expectations, offering warm hospitality and the opportunity to work together, LETA said.

The military planners are working together on the details of the battalion's logistics, the Canadian defense minister said, voicing confidence that all technicalities would be straightened out by the time the battalion arrived in Latvia.

When asked whether he did not worry about the fact that Latvia did not yet have in place all the required infrastructure, Sajjan said that, of course, there were things that still had to be done but he did not see a problem with this because efforts were under way to finish the arrangements.

More information about the troop deployments is available at the NATO website HERE.

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