RIGA – It is not possible to ensure peace and stability without appropriate investments because strong armed forces are and will be one of the corner stones in ensuring independence of any nation, said Latvian Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis (Greens/Farmers) at the Riga Conference 2018 today.
"One of the most important decisions of the Baltic states was development of NATO Enhanced Forward Presence battle group and its deployment in the region that proved the alliance’s ability to react to the changing security situation. This is one of the examples showing why Latvia can and will rely on NATO," said Bergmanis.
He said that the alliance should collectively continue the deterrence policy, at the same time, developing defense capabilities.
Bergmanis also said that Latvia has started work on introducing a comprehensive defense system that would engage state institutions, private sector representatives, companies, NGOs and residents.
"We are NATO and we are developing it together, therefore – if we do not believe in the alliance, we do not believe in ourselves. It is a true value that joins 29 nations of the world. Latvia believes that NATO has everything necessary to be the strongest and most successful military alliance also in the future," the minister said.
As reported, the annual international forum on foreign policy and security, Riga Conference 2018, has gathered over 800 foreign, diplomatic and military experts this year.
The Riga Conference is an annual meeting of regional and international experts in foreign policy and defense, academics, journalists, and business representatives, promoting the discussion and assessment of issues affecting the transatlantic community.
Convening in the Latvian capital since 2006, the conference has become a recognized annual tradition in the region.