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Canada to lead reinforced NATO contingent in Latvia | War in Ukraine

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Canada will continue to lead this battle group, currently made up of around 2,000 soldiers from 10 countries (Canada, Albania, Spain, Iceland, Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia), she added at a press conference alongside of his Latvian counterpart, Artis Pabriks.

Ms. Anand, however, was not able to specify how many soldiers from other countries will be added to this force or what additional contribution Canada will make. A brigade is normally composed of 3000 to 5000 soldiers. The deadline for achieving this expansion has not been disclosed either.

We will commit additional troops with our allies, but we need to have this conversation about the additional troops that will be provided by the 10 member countries. »

A quote from Anita Anand, Minister of Defense of Canada

We will be ready to provide the necessary assets for operations, such as ammunition and explosives, air defense systems and anti-tank weapon systemsalso said the Canadian Minister of Defense.

NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence Multinational Battlegroup in Latvia has been led by Canada since its creation in 2017, following Russia’s annexation of Crimea three years earlier. Its reinforcement is explained by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

About 700 Canadian soldiers are currently serving in the NATO mission, which Canada had already pledged to lead until 2023.

Ms. Anand and Mr. Pabriks, seated, sign documents.  MM.  Trudeau and Levits observe the scene.

Canada’s commitment to Latvia was enshrined in an agreement signed by Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand and her Latvian counterpart, Artis Pabriks. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Latvian President Egils Levits were also present. Justin Trudeau Egils Levits Artis Pabriks Anita Annad

Photo: The Canadian Press/Paul Chiasson

The Secretary General of the Transatlantic Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, had previously confirmed at the opening of the summit of the leaders of the member countries that the eight battle groups of NATO would be transformed into a brigade to counter the Russian threat.

In addition to Latvia, these groups are found in Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania. All of these countries were once part of the Eastern bloc, led by the Soviet Union.

Germany and the United Kingdom have both recently announced their readiness to lead larger combat units in Lithuania and Estonia, but Canada has so far remained silent on its plans in Latvia.

Earlier today, Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly announced that Canada will open new embassies in Estonia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Armenia.

She also said that Canada is discussing with its European partners, including Spain and Germany, how to increase energy exports.

It is important to help […] our European friendssaid Mélanie Joly, specifying that it had to be done in a way that also allows us to address the issue of climate change.

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