Defense Minister: Lots of work ahead for Latvia to host NATO troops

After the Warsaw NATO summit decision to deploy multi-national troops in the Baltics and Poland, Latvia has "a lot of homework" to do in order to accommodate the NATO battalion and heavy armor, Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis told Latvian Radio Monday morning.

Discussion on what exactly Latvia has to do to accommodate NATO forces will start shortly, with the first meeting of military officials slated for Tuesday.

Bergmanis said that Latvia will have to build the necessary infrastructure, like warehouses, a vehicle park, maintenance workshops and other things that will have to go hand in hand with the development of Latvia's own military forces.

He said that military experts will visit Canada in a week to take on these and other matters.

On Monday Bergmanis told Latvian Television that it's not yet clear where the NATO troops will be stationed, however the bulk of the forces could be located at Ādaži, and parts of it could possibly be stationed at the Lielvārde base, which houses an airfield. 

During the NATO Warsaw summit it was announced that four NATO battalions would be deployed to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland to deter the threat posed by Russia. 

Canada has confirmed sending a battle group of soldiers to Latvia, as well as six fighter jets and a frigate to the Baltics. 

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