RIGA - The Baltic countries can rest assured that NATO will defend every centimeter of its territory, as solidarity in the alliance has never been at such a high level as now, Vice Admiral Guy Robinson, Chief of Staff of the Allied Transformation Command, admitted to journalists on Wednesday during the NATO Resilience Symposium - Resilience in an Age of Turmoil.
In the opening address of the symposium, the vice admiral stated that he admires Latvia's abilities and desire to resist Russian influence and aggression, as well as its ability to appeal to its allies.
According to him, not only military deterrence, but also public activism and the desire to be free play an important role in strengthening a country or region.
"Our military capabilities are purely a deterrent, not, as is often presented, aggression or anything like that," the vice admiral stressed.
Robinson also noted that NATO has improved its infrastructure and logistics in recent years.
At the press conference, Assistant Secretary General of NATO for Defense Policy and Planning Angus Lapsley pointed out that it is important to protect important infrastructure, and this is the responsibility of each NATO member state.
"But we all work together. The exchange of information is ongoing. We also work with together the private sector," Lapsley said.
On the other hand, NATO Deputy Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, Baiba Braze, told journalists that major changes in NATO's military strategy began in 2014, and the subsequent changes mean the alliance's focus on collective defense, rather than the priority of conducting crisis operations outside NATO territory.
This change is being implemented in a very methodical way, and plans and a capability readiness package are planned for the summer summit in Vilnius, which the leaders will have to accept after talks. She admitted that this information is classified, so we may not hear more details publicly.
"Let there be a clear understanding of what is happening at NATO's borders, let there be readiness, let there be forces on the ground and the ability to defend the territory from the first moment, if necessary," said Braze.
She emphasized that the most important task is deterrence, that is, ensuring that the enemy understands that the countries have the ability and the will and unity to defend their territory.
"Capabilities, reinforcements and everything else is being planned at this moment," Braze said.
Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) was also invited to the opening of the symposium, who pointed out that Belarus continues to transport citizens of third countries to the external borders of the EU. This changed the attitude towards Belarus completely, and an even more dramatic step was Russia's aggression in Ukraine, which in turn changed the perception of global security.
The Prime Minister of Latvia also stated that soldiers are fighting in Ukraine, but the most important thing is "people's eyes", because Ukrainians want to live in a free country.
During his meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Latvian Prime Minister realized that three factors are important, namely military deterrence, social cohesion and political security.