RIGA - The Canadian-led NATO battalion of more than 1,000 troops will fully arrive in Latvia by June, Latvia’s new Chief of Defense Leonids Kalnins told the press on Wednesday.
Kalnins will take the position of the Chief of Defense on January 27.
Saeima defense, interior affairs, and corruption prevention committee lawmakers today heard Kalnins’ report on the readiness to receive the NATO multinational battle group.
He told the press that the NATO battalion will fully arrive in Latvia in June, but before those small contingents will arrive to prepare for the arrive of the whole battalion.
As reported, NATO leaders at the summit in Warsaw in July 2016 approved the deployment of four multinational battalions to the Baltic countries and Poland as part of measures meant to deter Russia from possible aggression. Their deployment will begin in 2017 and proceed on a rotational basis.
Canada is the lead nation for the battalion to be stationed in Latvia. Half of the battalion will be Canadian soldiers, and it will also include soldiers from Albania, Italy, Spain, Poland and Slovenia.
Canada is to spend CND 348.6 million (EUR 245 million) in its reassurance/deterrence mission in Europe, including Latvia, over the next three years.
The Canadian troops will start arriving in spring this year.