Latvia and US working on tank placement plan

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Talks have begun between Latvia and the United States on how and where precisely to deploy heavy weapons including tanks and artillery, the BNS newswire reported Wednesday.

The heavy weaponry is to be stored at the Adazi military base just outside Riga, BNS was told at the Latvian Defense Ministry.

It is not clear yet how many units and what kind of military equipment will be stationed in Latvia, representatives of the Defense Ministry said. Latvia expects to complete the talks by the end of this year.

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said during a visit to Estonia in June that the US military will be sending 250 units of heavy weaponry, including dozens of tanks, Bradley armored fighting vehicles and self-propelled howitzers to allied countries in the Baltics and Eastern Europe.

Bulgaria, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania will each get a set of military equipment, with troops rotating to use it. Carter said the equipment will be moved around the region for the purposes of training.

The purpose of the deployment of heavy weaponry in these countries is to help NATO allies tackle terror threats and deter Russian aggression. The US defense secretary said that the US has no plans to permanently station its troops in the Baltic states, instead describing the US presence as "persistent".

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