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Monday 23.01.2017 | Name days: Strauta, Grieta
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Latvia and USA sign agreement on cooperation in defence

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUOn Thursday, 12 January, Latvian Defence Minister Raimonds Bergmanis and US ambassador to Latvia Nancy Bikoff Pettit signed an agreement between the Republic of Latvia and United States of America on cooperation in the field of defence.

«I am happy that the Cabinet of Ministers has supported the signing of the agreement between the Latvia and USA on cooperation in the field of defence, which is a major step towards enhancing Latvia’s defensive capabilities and ensuring presence of allies in the country,» – said Bergmanis.

Signing of the agreement will contribute to the presence of allied forces in Latvia, which will enhance investment security, consumption growth and have a positive effect on the economy and GDP growth.

The status of allied forces in Latvia is dictated by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s agreement on the status of their forces (NATO SOFA). The agreement, signed in 1951 and joined by Latvia in 2004, states that countries are allowed to sign additional agreements to further regulate status of allied forces stationed in third countries, Defence Ministry reports.

The ministry explains that that agreement will add to NATO SOFA in multiple aspects. This includes setting the order in accordance with which American forces use infrastructure of Latvian National Armed Forces and perform improvements to it. It will also provide rules by which people associated with armed forces travel to Latvia and how American vehicle registration documents are recognized in Latvia.

In accordance with this agreement, USA agrees to follow air, sea and road traffic rules in Latvia.

Representatives of the ministry explain that in recognition of basic principles of relations between two sovereign nations and realizing cooperation in the field of defence, acting in the interest of Latvia, actions taken by American armed forces will not be applied with taxes, duties or other fees. The agreement also provides conditions when non-application of tax is appropriate.

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