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Sep 14, 2020
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Latvia asks to increase NATO contingent in the country

The presence of one NATO battalion in Latvia is considered insufficient

Latvia continues to invite the American military into its territory, dreaming of stationing them, like in Poland, on a permanent basis. However, for this, the foreign military must be provided with sufficiently comfortable conditions. However, the Minister of Defense of Latvia Artis Pabriks hopes that negotiations, which will be long and difficult, will ultimately be successful.

“NATO understands our requests, our concerns, but this in no way relieves us of the need to prepare our own armed forces and army as much as possible. There are many things we need to do ourselves. And only after fulfilling them, we can count on great support from the allies ",

- said Pabriks on the air of the program At the crossroads ("Crossroads") on Latvian radio...

He recalled that his request was voiced even before the exacerbation of the situation in Belarus due to the fact that over the past ten years the Russian armed forces have increased their potential, which frightens "little Latvia", which dreams of guaranteeing the safety of all its citizens, as guaranteed. for example, citizens of Germany or Italy. However, Pabriks understands that the Latvian Armed Forces are not able to do this, and therefore insists on the constant presence of the American military, and in large numbers.

Recall that the United States plans to withdraw 11,900 soldiers from Germany, of which 6,500 will return to their homeland, and 5,400 will be deployed in other European countries. President of the U.S.A Donald Trump announced that some of the military might be transferred to Italy, some to Poland and the Baltic states, "If appropriate agreements are reached"...

According to the Deputy Director of the Latvian Foreign Policy Institute Karlis Bukowski, Washington's decision is logical and understandable. Today Germany is in the center of Europe and there is no threat to its security.

“Germany is located in the center of Europe, while other countries have found themselves on the border with the“ Soviet world ”. And Poland is the largest of them. To summarize, Europe is not becoming less secure. Americans stay in Europe, they don't move. It would be much worse if they said that everything, we will not transfer anyone anywhere, we will return everyone back. Which, by the way, also corresponds to one of Trump's positions. The issue of the base and costs of American soldiers in Germany is a little different. But from the point of view of geopolitical stability, this decision is very logical, ”

- says Karlis Bukovskis.

Today, the three Baltic countries have one NATO international battalion, each with a little over a thousand people. In addition, the US military constantly arrives in the Baltic States to conduct maneuvers, after which they leave. In Latvia (and not only in Latvia), such a presence of foreign military personnel is considered insufficient. At the same time, the alliance agrees to deploy a larger number of military personnel on the territory of the Baltic states, but on one condition - comfortable conditions for them must be created according to American standards. So Latvia has to spend more on the military of a foreign army than on its own pensioners. According to the European Commission report, Latvian pensioners are among the poorest in the European Union.

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