Latvia’s Foreign Minister calls NATO to strengthen air defence and anti-missile defence capabilities in the Baltic States

Latvia’s Foreign Minister calls NATO to strengthen air defence and anti-missile defence capabilities in the Baltic States

On 5 April 2023, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs attended a meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Brussels, which included a working session on preparations for the NATO Vilnius Summit and a meeting with partners from the Indo-Pacific region.

The Latvian Foreign Minister expressed the position that, ahead the NATO Vilnius Summit, it was important to complete the implementation of the decisions of the Madrid Summit on defence and deterrence. The minister said he hoped that Sweden would become a full-fledged, 32nd NATO member state by the time of the Vilnius summit, thereby getting fully integrated into NATO structure and command alongside Finland.

The Foreign Minister reaffirmed Latvia’s goal of allocating 3% of its gross domestic product to national defence by 2027. “Latvia supports the initiative to reinforce the commitment of the 2014 Wales Summit, which urged the Alliance’s Member States to increase their defence spending to 2% of GDP per year by 2024. Latvia will increase its support provided as host country in a targeted manner and will continue to invest in its defence capabilities,” Edgars Rinkēvičs emphasized. The minister also thanked Canada for its determination to lead a combat-capable multinational brigade in the long term, which is to include both an increase in the number of personnel and the deployment of additional capabilities and equipment in Latvia.

Taking into account the current experience with Russia’s war in Ukraine, Minister Rinkēvičs drew attention to ensuring the presence of allied anti-aircraft and anti-missile defence units in the Baltic States.

NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs together with their counterparts from Australia, South Korea, Japan and New Zealand, and the European Union’s High Representative exchanged views on the Russian aggression in Ukraine and the support of partners from the Indo-Pacific region to Ukraine, as well as China’s influence on the Euro-Atlantic security and that of the Indo-Pacific region.

The Foreign Minister highlighted the close link between the Euro-Atlantic security with that of the Indo-Pacific region. It is important for Latvia that there is a dialogue between NATO and like-minded countries in Asia-Pacific, especially Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea. The Minister expressed his gratitude to the countries of the region for their current support for Ukraine, which takes place within the framework of NATO mechanisms and bilateral cooperation.


On Top