UK to send 30 troops to Latvia

The United Kingdom will send about 30 troops to be stationed in Latvia, Latvian Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis told the LETA newswire Monday.

He said that the National Armed Forces (NBS) are still holding consultations with the British authorities on the best ways for the British troops to participate in strengthening national defense.

"We know the number of people - about 30. Now there are talks on how to do it. I hope that one of the ways will be providing advice in the mechanization project," said Bergmanis.

In September 2014 an agreement was signed on a purchase of 123 CVRT armored vehicles from the UK.

The Latvian Defense Ministry confirmed last year that the UK has decided to send its troops to the Baltic states.

"I congratulate the UK on its decision to join the allied forces in the Baltic states. It is an opportunity to make the decision on a long-term presence during the 2016 summit," Bergmanis said in his "Twitter" post last year.

The Financial Times reported in October 2015 that the UK is to join Germany and the US in committing to long-term troop deployments in the Baltic states to deter Russian aggression and shore up NATO’s eastern borders.

As with US troops already in Latvia and the other Baltic states in response to a more hostile Russia, the length of the troop deployment will be open-ended but on a rotational basis.

The UK will send similarly-sized contingents to Estonia and Lithuania too.

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