We will continue to support Latvia in its decisions to strengthen its defense capabilities - US ambassador

  • 2023-01-17
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The United States will continue to support Latvia in its decisions to strengthen its defense capabilities, US Ambassador to Latvia John Carwile emphasized to LETA.

He noted that Latvia is working well not only in strengthening its present defense capabilities, but also its future capabilities. According to Carwile, the United States is proud to be a part of these plans as much as it can. The ambassador praised the cooperation between Latvia and the US not only at the political level, but also at the military level.

Asked what homework Latvia needs to do in order to strengthen its defense capabilities, Carwile pointed out that this should be left to the Latvian government, the Ministry of Defense and military experts to decide what are the best ways for Latvia to strengthen its capabilities.

Speaking about what kind of support the US plans to provide to Latvia in the future, the US ambassador said that it is currently difficult to predict, as the amount of support changes from year to year. In addition, it depends on the US Congress to decide on the reallocation of funding.

Carwile drew attention to the fact that US support has increased not only to Latvia, but also to Estonia and Lithuania during the past years.

"It does not matter whether Republicans or Democrats are in power, support for Latvia - either through funding or other forms of cooperation - is strong and it will continue to be so," said the US ambassador.

He explained that there is close cooperation with the Government of Latvia, the Ministry of Defense in order to jointly decide and understand how to better use the funds provided by the US for defense purposes.

As reported, in 2022 the US Congress allocated USD 180 million to improve the defense capabilities of the Baltic States.

In addition to annual support, last year, the US government provided Latvia with approximately USD 200 million in security assistance and defense cooperation funding, including more than USD 145 million in foreign military funding to strengthen Latvia's security and military interoperability.