Joint declaration between the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia and the Department of National Defence of Canada concerning augmented forward presence Latvia
We, the Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Latvia and the Minister of National Defence of Canada, recognize our common interests in international peace and security and share our commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty.
Since its inception at the 2016 Warsaw Summit, Canada and Latvia have been strong supporters of the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) concept. At the Warsaw Summit in 2016, Canada committed to the leadership as the Framework Nation of the eFP battle group in Latvia, which was in place in Latvia in June 2017. Since then, eFP Latvia has grown to be the largest and most multinational of all of the battle groups with representation by one third of NATO Allies.
To date, Canada has deployed robust capabilities to Latvia. Prior to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine in February, Canada maintained commitments to Task Force Latvia, providing national command and support elements as well as a leadership and coordination function with Troop Contributing Nations and Latvia. These commitments also included staff to support the Latvian Mechanized Infantry Brigade headquarter. Canada has also provided the bulk of the battle group headquarters for eFP Latvia, as well as a mechanized infantry company, and the majority of the combat support and combat service support companies.
Latvia, on its part, has ensured all necessary host nation support to facilitate development of eFP from the very beginning. Latvia has invested in building and enhancing living, recreational and training infrastructure in Ādaži military base guaranteeing that the largest and most diverse Allied battle group enjoys the highest living and training conditions. Together with Latvia’s National Armed Forces, the eFP battle group has not only increased its joint combat capability fulfilling the battle group’s role as a deterrence and defence force, but also has invested in joint outreach activities, disseminating and promoting NATO messaging and priorities. These efforts will continue, ensuring that host nation support is continuously enhanced to facilitate increased deployment of robust and combat capable Allied forces.
Russia’s unprovoked and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine reaffirms the importance of strengthening NATO and bolstering NATO’s Eastern Flank. The current force posture in the region is no longer enough to act as a deterrent to Russian aggression. A more robust and scalable force posture is now required to ensure sufficient efforts to sustain deterrence and defence. Since the Russian invasion and the activation of NATO’s contingency plans, Canada has surged additional land based capabilities to Latvia, to include an artillery battery and an electronic warfare troop. We have also committed a Brigadier-General and staff officers to the Multinational Division North Headquarters in Latvia to strengthen command and control.
The Alliance is more unified now in the aftermath of the Russian invasion than it has ever been.
The Supreme Allied Commander Europe has provided advice on NATO’s longer term posture that aims to reinforce NATO Allies and further deter Russian aggression. Allies have agreed to SACEUR’s advice and have committed to upholding it. All eFP Framework Nations and Host Countries are steadfast in their deterrence and defence efforts on the Eastern Flank and are making additional commitments and contributions in this regard.
We acknowledge the importance of NATO’s longer term posture, and are committed to its implementation. Canada and Latvia are close partners who share a special relationship. Our commitments and contributions are deeply linked, and we commit to further enhancing those linkages. We commit to deepening our cooperation on the basis of reciprocity and mutual benefit.
As part of the future of force presence on the Eastern Flank and in line with Allies in the region, both Canada and Latvia will play active roles and will make best efforts to effectively implement the below commitments. This will contribute to NATO’s ability to deter and defend forward with robust in-place, multi-domain, combat ready forces having enhanced command and control arrangements and ensure improved capacity to reinforce.
Building on the significant eFP successes to date, and leveraging existing investments, processes and arrangements, Canada will:
- Continue to provide leadership to NATO forces as a Framework Nation in Latvia.
- Work with Latvia as the Host Nation, with NATO, and with Allies to develop a sustainable plan in the near term to ensure a more robust multi-domain deterrence posture in Latvia, which will implement NATO’s decision and to be able to surge a combat capable brigade. Canada will work with Allies to generate these forces and to stage them appropriately.
- Lead and establish initially the elements of a forward brigade command and control element in Latvia.
- Affiliate Canadian land and joint capabilities pledged to the NATO Response Force to deploy to Latvia as and when required.
- As required, forward deploy or preposition personnel, equipment and ammunition that would support Allied forces, to allow for rapid and effective reinforcement.
- In order to do this, Canada will work with Latvia, NATO and Allies to invest in infrastructure and training areas to support the augmentation.
- Plan to acquire and deploy additional capabilities to provide critical support to operations such as anti-tank weapons systems, counter-uncrewed aircraft systems, air defence system, and ammunition and explosives.
- In conjunction with Allies and NATO, establish a solid training, exercise, and rehearsal plan to demonstrate rapid reinforcement in Latvia by the multinational brigade’s worth of forces that Canada will generate in cooperation with Allies; integrating with Multinational Division – North; and ensuring coordination with multi-domain capabilities.
- Lead a planning process with Allies to identify troops which will be able to surge to a combat capable brigade in Latvia as required by SACEUR.
Appreciative to Canada for the leadership and the long-term commitment to a multinational brigade in Latvia, Latvia will:
- Provide Host Nation support to Canadian Armed Forces members, and armed forces members of other nations contributing troops and equipment to Latvia.
- Develop and provide infrastructure to support the deployment of troops and support a brigade size unit. This could include infrastructure support such as: a new military base, accommodations, dining facilities, maintenance facilities, training areas to include live and dry training, and manoeuvre areas. New and expanded infrastructure will also ensure the ability to preposition equipment, ammunition and stocks, and to ensure all training and exercise needs.
- Invest at least 2.5% GDP for defence to sustain the build-up of the Latvian Armed Forces as part of NATO’s defence of its Eastern Flank.
These actions demonstrate Canada’s and Latvia’s commitments to deterrence and defence, to the security of the Euro Atlantic area, and to the NATO Alliance and its Allies. These actions will strengthen our joint presence in Latvia and will allow Allied countries to more rapidly and effectively deter and respond to any future threat. We will continue to stand together in the face of aggression, and in solidarity against elements that threaten our individual and collective security.
Dr. Artis Pabriks
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Republic of Latvia
Minister of National Defence of Canada
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