NATO ships stop at Rīga port

On Friday, April 22, NATO naval warships operating as rapid response forces and capable of protecting airspace arrived at Riga's passenger port. It is currently their task to strengthen cooperation with the Latvian naval forces, to search for mines remaining from World War II, and to demonstrate the presence of NATO forces, Latvian Television reported.

This morning, NATO's first permanent naval group flagship arrived at Riga port, from which orders are given to the whole group of vessels. It's a Dutch Navy frigate. Behind it, a Canadian frigate and a German corvette entered the port.

Latvian Television had the opportunity to climb on board the flagship – this Dutch frigate is more than 140 meters long and a helicopter is also on board. The ship is equipped with surface-to-air protection systems.

The commander of NATO's first permanent naval group, Commodore Ad van de Sande, told LTV: "This is anti-air defense and command-frigate. The main task of the ship is the protection of the airspace of other vessels or the protection of a particular region against threats from the air. At the same time, it's a command ship, so there's my team on board with 20 people, and we're providing the leadership of a group of ships."

The aim in the Baltic Sea is to strengthen cooperation with the Latvian naval forces, to search for mines left from World War II, and to demonstrate the presence of NATO forces.

These warships will remain in the port of Riga until Monday. They will not be opened for public visits.

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