RIGA - Canada might consider sending additional troops to the Baltic states and Poland.
Although Canada does not have such plans at the moment, it is watching the situation and will do everything to ensure the security of its allies, the Canadian Minister of National Defense, Anita Anand, said at a news conference following a meeting with Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks (Development/For) on Thursday.
Additional deployment [of troops] has to be considered, perhaps more Canadian soldiers should be sent to the Baltics and Poland, the Canadian minister said.
She also noted that the Canadian soldiers currently stationed in Latvia is a very important mission for Canada and the largest in a foreign country.
Anand also voiced concerns about Russia's threats to Ukraine, which she discussed with Pabriks. The minister said that Canada will continue to help maintain the world order and ensure Ukraine's territorial integrity, adding that Canada is also training Ukrainian soldiers.
Canada is worried not only about Russia-Ukraine relations, but also about Belarus' hybrid attacks against neighboring Baltic states. The Canadian minister voiced hope that the Ukrainian and Belarusian crises would be resolved by diplomatic means.
As reported, the Canada-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia includes over 1,500 soldiers from Albania, Czech Republic, Italy, Iceland, Canada, Montenegro, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. On the rotational basis, soldiers from these countries arrive in Latvia to take part in military exercises alongside Latvian troops. The purpose of joint training is to boost the interoperability with regional allies required to respond to potential security threats.
NATO enhanced Forward Presence battle groups deployed in Baltics and Poland contribute to NATO’s deterrence policy and Alliance’s collective defense. They also demonstrate the solidarity of allied forces, as well as Alliance’s commitment to defend itself against all types of aggression.