RIGA - The U.S. commitment to further reinforcement of its regional presence in the Baltics is another confirmation of the spirit of solidarity among NATO allies, President Egils Levits said during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
The President Chancery's representative Justine Deicmane told LETA that Levits' meeting with Austin took place at the Riga Castle on Wednesday to discuss strengthening of the defense of NATO eastern flank and especially the Baltics.
Lloyd confirmed that Article 5 is sacrosanct and all NATO member states are equal - attack on one will be construed as an attack on all, said Austin. He also thanked Latvia for its contribution to strengthening of NATO forces, including joint military training among other initiatives.
One of the key topics of the meeting was Russian war against Ukraine. Lloyd praised Latvia for military, humanitarian and political support provided to Ukraine.
Both officials agreed that Russian invasion of Ukraine carries military and also ideological and informational consequences. It is led by imperialistic desire to dominate Europe. The new Strategic Concept of NATO adopted during the Madrid Summit is therefore crucial because it defines new core elements of NATO's deterrence and defense posture, as well as comprehensive and coordinated approach to strengthening of the defense framework for NATO's eastern flank and especially the Baltics. Austin also stressed that Russia did not expect such a cohesive and strong response from the Alliance.