Canada renews defensive commitment in Latvia one year early

The Prime Ministers of Latvia, Spain and Canada, plus NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited the Ādaži military base near Rīga March 8, using the occasion to announce new commitments to regional defense.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Defense Minister Anita Anand confirmed a previous commitment to send additional forces to the Canadian-led battlegroup stationed at Ādaži, but added a new measure, too, confirmation of the renewal of Canada's mission in Latvia.

"As Russia continues its unwarranted and unjustifiable attacks on Ukraine, Canada is standing united with our European allies in supporting Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, as well as democracy and human rights everywhere. I would like to thank Prime Minister Kariņš for hosting this visit which provided an opportunity for Canada and Latvia to continue to deepen the ties between our two nations, by emphasizing our shared values and mutual commitment to transatlantic security as NATO Allies. Canada continues to work in close collaboration with NATO Allies to support Ukraine as it defends its people, its sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence,” said Trudeau.

"Prime Minister Trudeau today announced Canada will renew its multi-year commitment to Operation REASSURANCE, the Canadian Armed Forces support to NATO’s assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe. This announcement is a year ahead of schedule and responds to the changing security situation in Eastern Europe," confirmed a Canadian government release.

Moments later, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that around 150 more troops would be deployed to Latvia "very soon". Spain currently has the second-largest contingent among the nations based at Ādaži.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: "Putin seriously understimated Ukraine and he seriously underestiamted NATO and our friends."

Fully deployed by July 2017, NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence comprises four multinational battalion-size battlegroups, provided by framework nations and other contributing Allies on a voluntary, fully sustainable and rotational basis.

The battlegroups operate in concert with national home defence forces and are present at all times in the host countries.

Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States are the framework nations for the robust NATO presence in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland respectively.

Albania, the Czech Republic, Iceland, Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain contribute to the Canadian-led battlegroup in Latvia; Belgium, the Czech Republic, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway provide contributions to the German-led battlegroup in Lithuania; Denmark, France and Iceland contribute to the UK-led battlegroup in Estonia; and Croatia, Romania and the United Kingdom are part of the US-led battlegroup in Poland.

 

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