NATO Secretary General commends Latvia’s role in strengthening shared security
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the new Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis in his first visit to NATO Headquarters on Thursday (17 March 2016). Speaking at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Kučinskis, Mr. Stoltenberg thanked Latvia for its contributions to Allied security and stressed that “NATO is strongly committed to Latvia”.
The Secretary General commended Latvia for its contributions to the NATO Response Force and NATO’s Resolute Support Mission, as well as its strong political and practical support for Ukraine. He also highlighted Latvia’s participation in NATO exercises and its role in hosting the new NATO Force Integration Unit in Riga. “This small headquarters will play a key role in planning and exercising. And to help ensure that our forces can deploy quickly, if needed,” said the Secretary General.
Mr. Stoltenberg also underlined NATO’s steps to strengthen its defence and deterrence posture with an enhanced forward presence in the eastern part of the Alliance. He noted that this presence will be multinational, sending a clear signal that an attack on any Ally will be met by all Allies. “These decisions mean that there will be more NATO in Latvia than ever before,” said the Secretary General.
In their talks, Prime Minister Kučinskis and the Secretary General addressed key issues on NATO’s agenda ahead of the Warsaw Summit, including the Alliance’s role in countering hybrid warfare. Mr. Stoltenberg also welcomed Latvia’s commitment to raise defence spending to 2% of GDP, in line with NATO guidelines.