Latvian Foreign Minister calls for permanent NATO presence in the Baltic states

On April 7, Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, took part in the meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Brussels, using the occasion to call for NATO to "permanently station" troops in the Baltic states.

"Edgars Rinkēvičs expressed support for the need to permanently station NATO forces in the Baltic States in view of the security situation in the region," said a statement from the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, without quoting the Minister directly.

"During the meeting, Edgars Rinkēvičs stated that plans for NATO’s deterrence and defence architecture should be formulated without further delay. As Latvia understands it, the declaration establishing the NATO-Russia Council has already been rendered null and void; accordingly, its public nullification is not decisive for Latvia. 

"Russia cannot go unpunished; therefore, all kinds of assistance to Ukraine must be further provided so that the country could defend its sovereignty, the Minister said. The international community must achieve that Russia is brought to the negotiating table in a meaningful manner and hostilities in Ukraine are ended immediately, which includes ceasefire and the withdrawal of troops. At the same time, that must not take place at the expense of Ukraine’s sovereignty, the Latvian Foreign Minister underlined," according to the statement.

Though NATO member states Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania have their own military bases, the contingents from other NATO member states that are using them at present are technically doing so on a rotational basis, with deployments regularly reviewed and extended. 

 

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