Canada's decision to increase its military presence in Latvia is a historic step in strengthening NATO's eastern flank - Karins

  • 2023-07-11
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Canada's commitment to double its military presence in Latvia is a historic step that will strengthen the defense capabilities of NATO's eastern flank, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity, JV) said after the signing of the Latvia-Canada commitment.

Karins told LETA that "every country is as strong as its allies".

"Latvia's allies, Canada and other NATO members represent the strongest military alliance in the world. Together we will continue to strengthen NATO, ensuring peace and stability in the Baltic States, the whole North Atlantic region and allowing our societies to continue to develop," the Prime Minister stressed.

At the same time, he noted that Latvia, for its part, will continue to invest in strengthening its defense capabilities, adding that a new military training ground is being built in Selija, which will be able to accommodate a much larger number of troops.

Additional air and coastal defense systems and long-range rocket systems are also planned. "We will continue these investments to strengthen ourselves and to be able to better work together with Canada and all other allied troops deployed in Latvia," Karins stressed.

During the visit of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Karins also underlined the united Latvian and Canadian position on support to Ukraine, which will continue for as long as necessary until it wins the war.

As reported, the Latvian and Canadian defense ministers signed a commitment on Monday at the Adazi base to increase the NATO enhanced forward presence battle group deployed in Latvia to a brigade.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters after signing the roadmap that Canada has very close ties with Latvia and when Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014, NATO mobilized its forces and deployed troops, including in Latvia.

With the plans to create a brigade, Canada will double the presence of Canadian troops in Latvia to defend democracy and the rule of law.