Latvia prepares NATO crisis response agreement

Latvia will sign an agreement with the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) on the host nation support to NATO's Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) in case of a crisis, the LETA newswire reported January 31.

The Latvian government at a meeting behind closed doors upheld draft regulations about a technical agreement between the Latvian government and SHAPE on providing the host nation support to the allied forces in as part of the VJTF.

According to the Latvian Defense Ministry, the agreement establishes Latvia’s obligations to provide the host nation support and the related services when and if the VJTF is deployed in Latvia's territory as well as the obligations of the VJTF and SHAPE to Latvia. The ministry would not disclose any other details of the agreement.

NATO member states agreed on creation of the VJTF at the Wales summit to improve the alliance's response to new security challenges.

The VJTF comprises a multinational brigade (approximately 5,000 troops), with up to five manoeuvre battalions, supported by air, maritime and special forces.  Once fully operational, the VJTF will be supplemented by two additional brigades, as a rapid-reinforcement capability, in case of a major crisis. 

If activated, the force will be available to move immediately, following the first warnings and indicators of potential threats, before a crisis begins, to act as a potential deterrent to further escalation. 

"The rapid arrival of this small but capable military unit would send a very clear message to any potential aggressor: 'any attempt to violate the sovereignty of one NATO nation will result in a decisive military engagement with all 28 allied nations'," according to NATO's explanation.

According to NATO it was formed: " in order to respond to emerging security challenges posed by Russia as well as the risks emanating from the Middle East and North Africa."

As previously reported by LSM, the agreement comes soon after Latvia signed a Status of Forces Agreement with the United States.

 

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