Generals, officers, soldiers of NATO stationed in Latvia,
On the 4th of April 1949 the NATO founding nations pledged to stand together to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilisation of their peoples, based on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law.
Today marks the 71st Anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty and we see that our Alliance, now of 30 nations, has become even stronger with the accession of North Macedonia.
Today we see that these fine words are backed up by the commitment of almost all Allies to the security of our front-line states. This is deterrence in operation and is a very powerful message of solidarity. It demonstrates NATO’s determination to defend every one of our Alliance’s members.
Therefore, I would like to thank all the 19 Allies who have sent soldiers to protect Latvia and our common peace. Today we have soldiers from Canada, Albania, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States stationed here.
I understand that it must be very difficult for you to be away from your families and loved ones during this global pandemic which is affecting each of our countries. Please, let me assure you that we truly appreciate your presence here and the vital role you are playing in our common security.
I wish you all a safe passage through this exceptional Coronavirus period and, most of all, that your loved ones should stay safe while you are far away from them.
On behalf of the Latvian nation – thank you – and keep well!