Minister Sajjan Wraps Up Visit to Latvia

News Release

September 29, 2017 – Ottawa, ON – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Today, Minister of Defence Harjit S. Sajjan concluded several days of meetings with Allies and defence counterparts in Latvia.

During his two-day visit to Riga, Latvia, Minister Sajjan visited the Ādaži Military Base upon invitation by Latvian Minister of Defence Raimonds Bergmanis. The Minister toured the base and met with soldiers who recently completed a Certification Exercise (CERTEX) that confirmed the readiness of the multinational battlegroup to support the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and our Allies in Eastern Europe. Minister Sajjan was joined by other NATO Ministers contributing to the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) battlegroup in Latvia. As a leading nation within NATO’s eFP battlegroup, Canada remains fully committed to supporting NATO defence and deterrence measures in Eastern Europe.

Before departing Riga, Minister Sajjan also visited the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence and delivered remarks during the opening panel of this year’s Riga Conference, focused how NATO is evolving and how the Alliance can continue working together.  

Quotes

“I am proud of the Canadian troops helping to preserve peace alongside the rest of our NATO allies in Latvia. NATO’s multinational battlegroup at the Ādaži Military Base is a clear demonstration of Allied solidarity – a demonstration that Canada is proud to be at the forefront as a Framework Nation. Unmistakably, the Allied nations stand as one in supporting Latvian defence forces.”

Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister

Quick Facts

  • As one of four Framework Nations formed under the Alliance’s deterrence and defence measures in Eastern Europe, Canada is leading a robust multinational rotational NATO battlegroup in Latvia.

  • The Canada-led eFP battlegroup in Latvia is comprised of military personnel from Canada, Albania, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, and Spain, and is part of a defensive and proportionate response to the evolving security environment in the region. The battlegroup is training as part of the Latvian Land Forces Infantry Brigade. 

  • The Canadian Armed Forces has deployed approximately 450 personnel to Latvia on Operation REASSURANCE, the Canadian Armed Forces’ support to NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe.

  • Bilateral military cooperation with Latvia has increased in recent years due to Canada’s contributions to NATO assurance measures, through which  the Canadian Armed Forces had a number of opportunities to train and exercise side-by-side with their Latvian counterparts. 

  • The Rīga Conference is an annual meeting of experts from around the world in foreign policy and defence, academics, journalists, and business representatives where issues affection the transatlantic community are discussed.

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Contacts

Jordan Owens
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
(613) 996-3100
Email: jordan.owens@forces.gc.ca

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Email: mlo-blm@forces.gc.ca


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