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Ceturtdiena 17.01.2019 | Name days: Tenis, Dravis
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Montenegro to join NATO battalion stationed in Latvia

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAccording to NATO Deputy Supreme Allied Commander in Europe James Everard, Montenegro plans to join the multi-national battalion currently stationed in Latvia.

The Gen. James Everard says that he has discussed with Latvia’s Defence Minister Raimonds Bergmanis and Latvia’s National Armed Forces Commander Leonīds Kalniņš matters associated with NATO’s battle group, which consists of «eight and soon to be nine nations, with Montenegro joining soon».

Everard said he is happy to see each combat group’s rotation stronger than the last, because they learn from previous groups and adapt what they have learned in practice. He adds this is an important part for growing defensive capabilities.

Latvian Defence Ministry’s press-representative Kaspars Galkins confirms that Montenegro wants to join the combat group. However, currently available information shows that this initiative is in a state of coordination.

When asked about Russia’s recently held exercises Vostok-2018, which involved, according to Russia, around 300,000 troops, the general told journalists that he does not know if the numbers reported by Russia are true. Nevertheless, similar to Zapad exercises, each nation has the right to train its armed forces. «We [NATO] try to be as open about our drills as possible. We hope Russia will one day follow this example,» he added.

Defence Minister Raimonds Bergmanis says he and the general have discussed decisions made during NATO summit in Brussels in relation to Latvia’s security.

Bergmanis told Everard that Latvia is prepared to make large investments in state defence. Funding will be used to ensure state security and provide for the needs of allied forces stationed in the country. Latvia now pays more attention to comprehensive state defence. The country is certain that support of allied troops is unquestionable, said the minister.

Latvian National Forces Commander Leonīds Kalniņš told journalists that during the conversation Everard was presented with development plans for NAF capacity and combat capabilities. Officials also discussed plans for improving NATO structure and chain of command and how Latvia could contribute to this.

As it is known, the multi-national NATO battalion in Latvia is led by Canada. It consists of more than 1,300 troops from Albania, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Canada, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain, which perform their duties in Latvia on a rotational basis. Together with Latvian National Armed Forces, they participate in military exercises to help improve compatibility with allies in order to better react to defence and environmental challenges.


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