Canada and Latvia sign Joint Declaration to augment NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Latvia
June 29, 2022 – Madrid, Spain – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
Canada’s commitment to the NATO Alliance is steadfast. Against the backdrop of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Canada is continuing to strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defence posture, including in Latvia.
Today, at the NATO Summit in Madrid, Minister of National Defence, Anita Anand, signed a joint declaration with Latvian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Dr. Artis Pabriks, to augment NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Latvia.
Five years ago, Canada stepped up to establish and lead the enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia. Since then, eFP Latvia has grown to become the most diverse of all the NATO battle groups – with one-third of NATO Allies represented. Today’s declaration firmly reiterates Canada’s commitment to Latvia and to bolstering NATO’s Eastern Flank.
Going forward, and as stipulated in the declaration, Canada will:
- continue to lead NATO forces as the Framework Nation in Latvia;
- work with Latvia and NATO Allies to generate and stage forces in order to surge to a combat capable brigade;
- establish and lead elements of a forward brigade command and control; and
- be prepared to provide critical capabilities to operations, such as ammunition and explosives, air defence systems, and anti-tank weapons systems.
Today’s announcement builds on Canada’s leadership role and existing contributions in Latvia over the last five years.
Canada’s component of the battle group already included mechanised infantry, combat support, and combat service support companies. Since Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February, Canada has expanded Operation REASSURANCE – supporting NATO’s assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe. Canada has surged additional land based capabilities to Latvia, to include an artillery battery and an electronic warfare troop. In addition, Canada has deployed a Brigadier-General and staff officers to the Multinational Division North Headquarters in Latvia to strengthen command and control.
Through today’s joint declaration, Canada is reaffirming its strong military presence in Latvia, which will continue to grow. The declaration demonstrates both countries’ commitment to bolstering deterrence and defence, to the greater security of the Euro-Atlantic area, as well as NATO and its Allies. It will also allow Allied countries to more rapidly and effectively deter and respond to threats.
Detailed planning is ongoing, and Canada continues to work with NATO Allies to begin implementing new commitments in the shortest timeframe possible.
Today’s announcement is another example of Canada continuing to help defend every inch of NATO territory, and strengthening NATO’s deterrence and defence posture in Latvia. Canada leads this Battle Group with great pride and responsibility, and I offer my sincerest thanks to Dr. Pabriks and the Latvian Armed Forces for their steadfast support and trusted partnership as the Host Nation. This Battle Group shows the resolve of our Alliance, and demonstrates to any potential adversary, that any aggression against NATO would bring them more harm than good. In the face of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, our efforts to strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defence posture are more important than ever, and we will continue to step up.”
The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence
As the Framework Nation for NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence in Latvia, Canada leads an eleven-nation multinational battle group composed of Albania, Canada, the Czech Republic, Iceland, Italy, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. Canada also coordinates with Latvia and the contributing nations to help set the tone, pace, and vision for this Battle Group.
The Canadian component of the enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group currently comprises a battle group headquarters, a mechanised infantry company, an artillery battery, a combat support company, an electronic warfare troop, and a combat service support company.
As announced by Prime Minister Trudeau in February 2022, Canada is expanding Operation REASSURANCE. And as announced by Prime Minister Trudeau in March 2022, Canada will extend Operation REASSURANCE for a number of years past 31 March 2023.
Approximately 1,400 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members are deployed in support of Operation REASSURANCE, making it Canada’s largest current international military operation, with approximately 700 CAF personnel currently serving in Latvia.
Detailed planning is currently ongoing to incorporate the commitments highlighted in the Joint Declaration. These commitments will be incorporated into a government decision in the coming months.
Director of Communications and Issues Management
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Department of National Defence
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