US Senate authorizes EUR 208 million to strengthen security cooperation with the Baltics

  • 2023-08-01
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The US Senate, by passing a defense spending bill for 2024, has authorized the United States to allocate USD 228 million or about EUR 208 million for strengthening security cooperation with Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, the Ministry of Defense informed LETA.

The US Senate has welcomed the Baltic countries' contribution as NATO members and as leading countries in the international coalition supporting Ukraine in its response to Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

The US is a long-standing strategic partner and ally of Latvia and plays an important role in strengthening Latvia's security. Latvia cooperates with the US within NATO and other multilateral and bilateral formats aimed at strengthening defense.

"During my working visit to Washington in July, I received praise from the US Senate and Congress for Latvia's significant contribution to the security of our country and the Baltic region by contributing 2.25 percent of GDP to defense this year. We appreciate the decision of the US Senate to support additional funding for security cooperation with the Baltic States in 2024. The planned funding will enable us to more rapidly develop the military capabilities of the Baltic States and to strengthen the security of NATO's eastern border as a whole," said Defense Minister Inara Murniece (National Alliance).

It has already been reported that at the end of last year, the US Congress approved USD 225 million in funding for all three Baltic States under the Baltic Security Initiative for the fiscal year 2023, which is earmarked for the development of military capabilities.

On June 29, 2022, the US President issued a statement on strengthening the US military presence in Europe, including the Baltic States. In December 2022, the US approved plans for a three-year military presence plan in Latvia, which will include a continuous rotational presence of US military units and increased participation in military exercises.