NATO increasingly involved in battling Covid-19 with its military resources - Rinkevics

  • 2020-04-07
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - NATO is getting increasingly involved in battling the Covid-19 pandemic with its military resources, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (New Unity) told LETA.

Rinkevics indicated that NATO foreign ministers held a video conference to discuss the steps taken by NATO allies in providing mutual support for countering COVID-19. "This is already happening.  NATO's military planes airlift gravely ill Covid-19 patients from one country to another where lung ventilation equipment is more readily available," the minister said. 

Also, NATO is helping with various materials, military transport and logistics. During their meeting, the ministers repeatedly affirmed that NATO has to keep performing these functions. 

NATO also has to take care of its soldiers' safety. Cases of Covid-19 infections among NATO soldiers have been reported in Lithuania and Latvia. "Work is under way also on this issue," Rinkevics said. 

During the video conference it was underlined that despite the Covid-19 crisis, all NATO operations and contributions, for instance, to strengthening Baltic security, remain in force and there will be no weakening of any functions. "NATO continues to do its job in full," Rinkevics said, adding that the ministers also discussed concrete support mechanisms for the alliance's partners Ukraine and Georgia.