Italy to increase the number of troops deployed in Latvia

07/14/2023 - 15:54
Defence policy
International cooperation
Information prepared by
Media Relations Section

The Italian Parliament has decided to expand the contingent of the NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia by 120 more troops later this year. With the Italian Parliament's decision, some 370 Italian soldiers will be assigned to the NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia.

The Italian Minister of Defence, Guido Crosetto, informed Defence Minister Ināra Mūrniece about the increase of the Italian contingent.

"The presence of Allied forces in our region is a testament to the Alliance's common security principles in practice. Latvia and Italy are closely linked both by NATO and by participation in international missions. We value Italy's contribution to the security of Latvia and the whole Baltic region and we are ready to invest additional resources to ensure that, as a host country, Allied soldiers in Latvia have the best conditions and opportunities to train interoperability and combat capabilities," the Minister of Defence said.

Italy is one of the Canadian-led NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group members in Latvia, currently comprising more than 1 700 troops from 11 countries - Albania, Canada, Czech Republic, Iceland, Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and North Macedonia. Italy has sent a mechanised infantry company with armoured vehicles to Latvia to take part in the Battle Group.

The purpose of the establishment and deployment of the NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battle groups is to contribute to NATO's deterrence and to strengthen the Alliance's defence by demonstrating the Alliance's solidarity and commitment to defend the Alliance against all forms of aggression. Members of the Battle Group shall rotate for duty in Latvia, participating in exercises with the National Armed Forces, thereby enhancing interoperability with regional allies.

Italy also regularly participates in the NATO's Baltic Air Policing Mission, a permanent peacetime mission aimed at ensuring the integrity of the sovereign airspace of the Alliance's Member States.

It has already been reported that on 10 July the Minister of Defence, Ināra Mūrniece, paid a working visit to the Italian Minister of Defence, Guido Crosetto, with whom she discussed bilateral cooperation between the two countries, Italy's participation in the NATO's enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia and its contribution to strengthening regional security, as well as issues related to the NATO Summit in Vilnius.

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Roberts Skraučs
Head of the Media Relations Section
Military Public Affairs Department
Tel.: 67335393