The Latvian Defense Minister, Artis Pavricks, has defended this Thursday that the NATO it must reinforce the combat groups on the eastern flank with more troops and means, ensuring that preventing another Russian aggression in eastern Europe is at stake. In statements upon arrival at the meeting of allied ministers, Pabriks assured that if NATO had reacted firmly to the 2008 invasion of Georgia there would not have been annexation of Crimea in 2014 and that if this Russian action had been answered harshly, the current war in Ukraine would have been avoided.
“Are we going to act correctly now to avoid the next war? That is the big question”, she assured, calling for the deployment of more troops and weapons in the country.l east flank, in addition to greater financial support to Ukraine. “Ukraine must win and Russia must lose. It is that simple and if it is different we will invite more Russian activities”, she has indicated.
Pabriks has stressed that the Baltic countries not only want an increase in troops, but also change NATO’s defense plans to have more material and ammunition prepositioned on the eastern flank and for the industry to accompany and produce the type of weapons that is needed. to reinforce the defense of the European continent.
Latvia hosts one of the NATO multinational battalions deployed on the Alliance’s eastern border in response to Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Deployed to Poland and the Baltics following the invasion of Crimea in 2014, NATO multinational battlegroups will be strengthened with the new Defense Posture agreed upon by the allied leaders at the Madrid summit at the end of the month. They are expected to reach the brigade level, that is, up to 5,000 troops. Currently only Poland has that number of allied troops on its territory in the framework of NATO battalions.
Upon arrival at the meeting, the Dutch Defense Minister, Kasja Ollongren, considered it “important” to reinforce this part of the military alliance but asked to think about a “long-term strategy” to combine deterrence and defense, to the instead of a “sustainable over time” plan.
On behalf of Canada, the Minister of Defense, Anita Anand, has defended the country’s commitment to the defense posture in Eastern Europe – she leads the Latvian battalion – and has insisted that Ottawa will do “whatever it takes”. to reinforce the eastern flank.
“There is a war and we must ensure our defense posture”pointed out his Belgian colleague, Ludivine Dedonder, who highlighted the united front between the EU and NATO after the crisis unleashed in Ukraine with the Russian invasion.