The arrival of the multinational Allied battlegroup in Latvia in June 2017 concluded the deployment of forces under NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence in the Baltic States and Poland, thereby implementing the decisions made at the Wales and Warsaw Summits. Canada is the framework nation for the battalion-size NATO battlegroup deployed to Latvia, with Albania, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, and Spain as contributing nations. These countries are sending, on a voluntary and rotational basis, their troops and combat-ready equipment to Latvia to deter any possible aggression, should the need arise.
NATO’s multinational EFP battlegroup in Latvia aims at boosting defence and deterrence capabilities in the eastern part of the Alliance territory. The presence of the battlegroup is sending an unmistakable signal about the unwavering resolve of NATO members to consider an attack on one Ally as an attack on the whole Alliance of 29 members. NATO Enhanced Forward Presence is defensive in nature, proportionate to the challenge and fully in line with NATO’s international commitments.
The Allied troops, in their day-to-day activities, will take part in joint international and local exercises together with the Latvian armed forces, learning from each other and honing their skills to enhance interoperability. Based on that experience, in crisis situations, NATO member countries would be able to respond more rapidly and effectively to current security challenges.
As a host nation, Latvia has made, and will continue to make the necessary preparations including the development of infrastructure to meet the needs of NATO and the countries involved.
Alongside the Canadian-led NATO battlegroup in Latvia, the United Kingdom is the framework nation for battalion-size troops in Estonia, Germany – in Lithuania, and the USA – in Poland.
NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence in the Baltic States and Poland serves to strengthen Allied collective defence, in adapting to the changed security situation in Europe following the illegal and illegitimate occupation and annexation of Crimea by Russia, the conflict in the eastern regions of Ukraine and the increased military activity close to NATO’s eastern border.