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.