It would be mistake to believe that war in Ukraine has completely weakened Russia - Latvian defense minister

  • 2023-05-22
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The world community would be mistaken to believe that the war in Ukraine  has left Russia completely weakened and incapable of new strategic surprises, Latvian Defense Minister Inara Murniece (National Alliance) said today in her address to the  meeting of the Northern Group's defense ministers.

The Ministry of Defense informed LETA that Murniece on Monday took part in the meeting of the defense ministers of the Northern Group in Poland. While discussing security issues of NATO's north-eastern flank at the meeting, the ministers agreed that Russia's invasion of Ukraine has fundamentally changed the security environment. Russia's aggressive stance poses a direct threat to the security, stability and prosperity of the entire Euro-Atlantic area, which is why it is essential to continue to provide military support to Ukraine in its fight against Russia's brutal aggression.

The Latvian defense minister informed her colleagues that Latvia's military aid, including the latest military aid package to Ukraine, has already exceeded 1 percent of the country's gross domestic product. Latvia is currently concentrating its efforts on training Ukrainian officers and soldiers. A new Latvian-Canadian initiative to train junior Ukrainian officers in Latvia was launched a week ago.

During a discussion on the priorities of Northern Group countries at the upcoming NATO Summit in Vilnius, the defense ministers expressed their conviction that the decisions taken at the Vilnius summit should strengthen the Alliance's deterrence and defense capabilities in the region in order to counter the current and future threats posed by Russia.

The Northern Group is an informal cooperation forum comprising twelve countries - Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland, the three Baltic states, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and the UK. The members of the group are united in the aim of developing joint defense cooperation projects.

Meetings of the Northern Group's defense ministers take place twice a year.