UPDATED: NATO's top commander lands in Latvia

NATO's top military commander in Europe, US General Philip Breedlove, arrived in Latvia Wednesday.

During his two day visit he is due to have talks with a trio of Raimonds: Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis, Latvia's senior military commander General Raimonds Graube and President Raimonds Vejonis, with a visit to the Adazi army base near Riga to spend the American Thanksgiving holiday with his compatriots.

Speaking to LTV in an exclusive interview, Breedlove praised NATO's "strong Baltic air policing mission" and called for both Turkey and Russia to exercise restraint in their current stand-off.

"Our Secretary General has I think been very clear that we all respect the sovereign airspace of all NATO nations," Breedlove said.

"What we all need to do at this point is to look to diplomatic solutions, we want to calm the situation. No-one wants this to escalate in any way or form.

"What we don't need is to escalate the situation again. It's time for calm reflection and communication between the two parties, Turkey and Russia."

On Thursday morning he will be awarded the Order of Viesturs, a state decoration that according to the Presidential chancellery "was established in 1938 in celebration of the ancient might of Latvia."

It was reinstated in 2004 and has as its motto "Confortamini et pugnate" (Be Strong and Fight).

The Order of Viesturs is awarded for outstanding military achievements, including "to foreign military personnel helping to train the Latvian armed forces so as to maintain and strengthen national security and public order."

 

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