RIGA - A general agreement on purchase of Patria 6x6 armored vehicles, signed at Adazi military base today, is very important for Latvia's security and development, Defense Minister Artis Pabriks (For Development/For) said on Monday.
Pabriks also said he was confident that the agreement would further improve the excellent relations between Latvia and Finland.
"For years we had been looking for a reliable partner who could contribute not only to the Latvian defense system, but also foster economic development and job creation," said Pabriks. "I think this is just the beginning, and we will develop even closer cooperation with Finland," he went on to say, adding that he was pleased that the new vehicles would be also manufactured in Latvia.
Finnish Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen welcomed the signing of the agreement, saying "This is just the beginning, it is an international agreement that is very important for both countries. This agreement is a great example of real cooperation between EU countries, and it is aimed at strengthening the armed forces of both countries. Thank you Latvia for fruitful cooperation," said Kaikonen.
According to the agreement signed by Pabriks and Kaikkonen earlier today, Latvia will buy more than 200 new 6x6 armored vehicles from Patria company.
The total agreement amount is approximately EUR 200 million, and the agreement also covers vehicle delivery, initial maintenance and staff training. The National Armed Forces are to receive the first new 6x6 armored vehicles already this coming October.