RIGA - The presence of Spanish troops and NASAMS systems in Latvia is a clear signal that the state will be defended, said Latvian Defense Minister Inara Murniece (National Alliance) during her meeting with Spanish Ambassador to Latvia Manuel Alhama Orenes today.
The minister was optimistic in relation to further bilateral cooperation in defense between Latvia and Spain as during last year's NATO Madrid summit an agreement was reached to develop the NATO battle group in Latvia to the level of a brigade.
Spain is one of the 11 member countries of the NATO enhanced forward presence battle group in Latvia. The Canadian-lead battle groups consists of more than 1,700 troops from Albania, the Czech Republic, Italy, Iceland, Canada, Montenegro, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Northern Macedonia.
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.
Along with the anti-aircraft missile battery, 85 soldiers of the Spanish Armed Forces have also arrived in Latvia, joining about 500 Spanish soldiers already in the Baltics.