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Tuesday 22.07.2014 | Name days: Marija, Marika, Marina
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NATO might set up a military base in the Baltics

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUDefence experts are in favour of setting up a NATO base in the Baltics. They also say it would be better to change the location of U.S. troops in Europe.

Retired Latvian General Gundars Ābols told the Sastrēgumstunda programme of LTV his opinion on events in Ukraine. He added that it is likely that NATO will perform a rigorous review of all of its strategic documents. According to him, the tensions in Ukraine will likely lead to the most important discussion – ‘maybe we will make sure NATO or USA decides to post troops in the Baltics’.

According to him, opening a NATO base in the Baltics would be a good solution.

Latvian Defence Minister Raimonds Vejoni notes that the Baltic States have asked NATO and USA to increase their presence in the region.

The head of Saeima’s Defence, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee Ainars Latkovskis proposed changing the location of U.S. troops in Europe.

‘USA has 66,300 soldiers posted in Europe. 66,070 of them are located in Western Europe. Only 130 of them are present in Eastern Europe, where they are needed the most…This proportion should be changed. It does not comply with our current situation,’ – said Latkovskis.

The first Defence Minister of the independent Republic of Latvia Tālavs Jundzis admits it is not possible to set up a NATO base in Latvia in the near future.

During the programme, experts discussed the necessity of increasing the country’s defence budget up to 2% of GDP by 2020.

Former Commander of Latvia’s National Armed Forces Juris Dalbiņš emphasized that an increase of the military budget would serve as a signal to society that politicians care about the country’s security.

Ābols also said this move would demonstrate ‘good political will’. He added that there is no way Latvia would be able to defend itself against Russia, no matter how much money is allocated for defence.

Vejonis noted that there is no need to draw comparison lines with defence, education and healthcare, because budget of the defence sector is not going to be increased at the expense of other sectors.

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  1. Linda says:

    how interesting – look forward to it.

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