RIGA - Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks (Development/For) and Estonian Defense Minister Kalle Laanet during the NATO Summit in Madrid on Thursday signed a letter of intent on a joint purchase of medium-range air defense systems.
Pabriks indicated that Russia's aggression in Ukraine clearly shows the necessity for air defense systems.
The NATO summit has given a clear signal that those who are ready to invest in defense will be provided assistance. Estonia is a reliable ally and definitely one of the countries that will be providing a contribution, the Estonian defense minister said, noting that in addition to the support offered by the allies, Estonia is ready to provide its contribution to air defense.
The letter of intent will serve as a basis for concluding a joint purchase agreement with Estonia, allowing for mutual coordination of activities, effective use of defense funding and strengthening the region's overall stability and security.
The joint purchase with Estonia means that work on the creation of medium-range air defense system in Latvia will start without a delay, realizing the importance of this capability. It also cannot be ruled out that some other allies might be involved in these purchases as well.
Air defense is a critical element of Latvia's military security, as such a system will significantly increase Latvian army's ability to shoot down missiles of the type Russia is currently using in Ukraine.
As reported, in response to the need to strengthen the defense capabilities of the Baltic region after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a Spanish-supplied ground-to-air anti-aircraft missile NASAMS battery was deployed at the National Air Force Base in Lielvarde on June 26.