Defense of Baltic States will be expensive in the coming years - expert

  • 2024-03-27
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The defense of the Baltic States will be costly in the years to come and will require extensive support from NATO allies, Toms Rostoks, the director of the Latvian National Defense Academy's Security and Strategic Research Center, stressed at the discussion Latvia's 20 Years in NATO and the EU, organized by the State Chancellery on Wednesday.

Russia will be a serious threat in the coming years, Rostoks said, so the Baltic States will have to actively defend their interests internationally, and work and communicate with allies to explain their specific situation. "We will have many battles ahead of us. The defense of the Baltic States will be costly and we cannot do it alone," said Rostoks.

Even if the countries allocate 3 percent of their gross domestic product to defense, and even more of the public is involved in national defense, this may not be enough and will probably require an even greater allied presence, as well as financial and material contributions.

Rostoks reminded that it is one thing to buy defense systems ourselves, but it is another for NATO allies to deploy their weapons temporarily in our country, thus safeguarding the security of the Baltics.

"We will have to be very proactive in order to convince the allies that the Baltic States do not feel safe," stressed Rostoks, adding that there have been successes in this area in recent years, for example the NATO Battle Group deployed in Latvia will become a brigade.

The expert pointed out that in the NATO context Latvia is a good ally and has not wanted to be a mere consumer, but has instead increased security by participating in international operations and has shown that Latvian soldiers can be relied upon.