RIGA - Russia's invasion of Ukraine confirms need for Latvia to continue to improve its detailed national defense plans and introduce modern armaments, Colonel Didzis Nestro, Deputy Chief off Staff Operations/Chief of Land Component at the National Armed Forces, told LETA.
The war in Ukraine clearly shows that the country must have a national defense plan prepared and tested in training, which has been developed down to the smallest detail and is understood at all levels, said the NAF colonel. It is important that in the event of a surprise attack, the commander of each unit knows what to do, even in a situation where it is not possible to obtain commands from superiors.
The national defense plan and the national defense operational plan of Latvia are regularly reviewed and improved. The national defense plan envisages tasks for all public administration institutions, but the national defense operational plan envisages tasks for the NAF and other security institutions.
Nestro also reminded of the need for Latvia to continue to move towards the principles of comprehensive national defense and to introduce modern armaments.
"We see that aid is being sent to Ukraine from the West at the start of the war, but the consumption of ammunition and other munitions is huge. For example, one anti-tank weapon, Javelin, costs USD 80,000. The cost of such weapons and their ammunition is high, and their stocks must be secured in a timely manned," Nestro said.
As reported, the government coalition on Monday reached an agreement to raise Latvia's defense budget to 2.5 percent of GDP in the next three years.
The coalition, which this year has to win the upcoming parliamentary election to stay in power, has also committed to increasing the Interior Ministry's budget to strengthen the State Police and Border Guard.
The defense budget would be increased, taking into consideration the security situation in the region following Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to launch a war against Ukraine and the deployment of Russia's armed forces in Belarus.