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Latvian DefMin hails competitiveness of Ukrainian Army

  • 2015-12-16
  • BNS/TBT-STAFF/RIGA

In an interview with Latvian television on December 16, Latvia’s Defence Minister Raimonds Bergmanis stated that the Ukrainian army now has a much higher level of competitiveness, and now it easier to to protect its territory.

Bergmanis has just returned from a visit to Ukraine.

Bergmanis said that during his meeting with the Ukrainian Defence Minister and president, he felt their confidence and stance. "The army currently has 250,000 people and they are all properly equipped and modernised,” he said.

He explained that Latvia is sharing its knowledge and helping to reform Ukraine's defence forces. 

Latvia provides training for Ukrainian troops, via language courses and combat training exercises.

The three Baltic States will continue providing further practical assistance to Ukraine in reforming and developing its armed forces, in order to bring them closer to NATO standards.

The Baltic-Ukrainian collaboration is also aimed at increasing cooperation with allied forces during the training process.

Bergmanis, and his Lithuanian and Estonian counterparts (Juozas Olekas and Hannes Hanso) visited Ukraine on December 14-15. 

They met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak.

All three Baltic ministers visited the military training centre in Yavoriv, Western Ukraine.

During the trip, Bergmanis, Olekas and Hanso all voiced their countries’ strong support to Ukraine by strengthening its independence and the defence sector.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said his country was interested in basing Ukraine’s armed force development on the Baltic model.