Canada will double the number of troops deployed in Latvia
On Monday, 10 July, Defence Minister of Latvia Ināra Mūrniece and Canada’s Minister of National Defence Anita Anand signed a road map taking stock of previous achievements and detailing further steps in upgrading Canadian-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia from battalion to brigade level. Signing took place at Camp Ādaži.
‘Road map signed by Latvia and Canada provides a scrupulous account of previous achievements on political, military planning and bilateral cooperation level. It also details further steps towards eFP brigade. Canada is committed to more than double the number of its troops deployed in Latvia by 2026. It clearly and firmly shows that Canada is fully committed to strengthening of Latvia’s and also the whole NATO’s eastern flank security and defence capabilities,’ Defence Minister Mūrniece underlined.
According to road map, NATO eFP Battle Group will continuously and gradually grow bigger in terms of number of troops and equipment units deployed to Latvia. Latvia has also announced its commitment to invest in further development of national defence capabilities and other kinds of host country support to allies, including development of the new Selonia Training Area. According to plans, NATO brigade will reach full combat readiness by 2026.
‘Forming and deploying a brigade in Latvia is not an easy task. It requires significant resources from all participating countries. Latvia is grateful to Canada for its leadership in this process. I believe that close cooperation with our NATO allies will allow us to reach our target and make Latvia’s and whole Alliance’s security more robust,’ Minister Mūrniece stressed. Canada previously announced its ambition to significantly increase presence in Latvia by, inter alia, bringing 15 Leopard 2 tanks and support personnel to Latvia by the end of this year.
On 10 July, a day before NATO Summit in Vilnius, Latvia was visited by Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau and country’s Minister of National Defence Anita Anand. During their working visit to Latvia, they met with Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš and Defence Minister Ināra Mūrniece. Latvian and Canadian officials also visited Camp Ādaži where Canadian-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia is serving currently.
As reported earlier, during last year’s NATO Summit in Madrid, Latvian and Canadian defence ministers signed a joint declaration on upgrading of Canadian-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia from battalion to brigade size.
Canadian-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia was deployed to Latvia in 2017. It is currently comprised of more than 1,700 troops from Albania, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Canada, Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Iceland and North Macedonia, deployed to Latvia on rotational basis. Latvian eFP Battle Group has become the most multinational of all NATO units.
Canada is a close ally of Latvia and has developed strong ties with Latvia over the years. Canada was among the first NATO countries to ratify Latvia’s membership in the Alliance in 2004.
Head of the Media Relations Section
Military Public Affairs Department