Government mulls expansion of military base

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The Latvian government discussed expansion of the Adazi military training area in central Latvia during a meeting behind closed doors on Tuesday, outgoing Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma told the press after the meeting.

The ministers listened to the Defense Ministry’s report about development and expansion of the military training infrastructure.

"We were speaking about expansion of the training area and cooperation with the three municipalities in the territory of which the training area is located,” Straujuma said.

The government also discussed co-financing from the National Armed Forces and the EU structural funds to the municipalities in respect of the expenses related to the army presence.

Latvian Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis in mid-September made a working visit to the Adazi municipality to discuss further development and expansion of the Adazi military base in future for intensification of the presence of NATO forces in Latvia.

The matters discussed during the meeting with municipal officials ranged from local road maintenance and live fire exercises at night to availability of the sports equipment at the military base for local population.

The opening of new military bases in the Baltics is a sensitive topic with Russia insisting such a move would breach existing agreements designed to limit the militarization of the region. However, expansion of existing bases is a potential alternative solution with NATO beefing up its defenses.

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