Latvia NATO 20

On 4 April 2024 the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will mark 75 years since its establishment. For the last 20 years Latvia is proud to be a democratic, stable and reliable NATO member states since 29 March 2004.

Russia's unprovoked and illegal full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has brought war back to Europe. In response, the NATO Strategic Concept, approved in June 2022, has defined Russia as the most significant and direct threat to the Alliance. A major threat comes from various terrorist groups, while Chinese politics poses challenges to the interests of the Alliance.

In response to changes in the security environment, Latvia, together with Allies, pays increased attention to strengthening defence capabilities at the national and international level. The membership of NATO and the European Union is the decisive factor in Latvia’s security policy. Within the framework of the organizations, as well as in bilateral cooperation with Allies, Latvia pursues an active foreign policy in order to strengthen its own, regional and international security.

An integral part of a successful deterrence and defence policy is the Allied military presence in Latvia. In this regard, one of the most important tasks in Latvia’s foreign policy is the strengthening of the Allied military presence in Latvia in the long-term, thereby making stronger the collective defence of all the NATO countries. A no less important task is the consolidation of NATO’s rapid response capabilities, which would make it possible to send reinforcements under a crisis and render assistance to any member state of the Alliance.  

Latvia’s membership of NATO plays an indispensable role in strengthening and ensuring the defence of our country. At the same time, the contribution by Latvia to collective defence of the entire Alliance is also important. While taking care of its security and being a responsible Ally, Latvia participates in NATO operations, provides the host country support to Allied troops in Latvia and invests 2.25 percent of its GDP in defence (aiming to increase the contribution to 3 percent of GDP by 2027) thereby delivering on a collective commitment.

A considerable impact on the security environment, alongside military threats, is also created by a range of various non-military threats, referred to as hybrid threats. Various hybrid activities, such as disinformation and propaganda campaigns, cyber-attacks, intelligence operations, instruments involving economic and energy sector, the use of disguised militants and terrorists for attacks etc. are employed in order to destabilise a state and its society, as well as to affect its political decisions in favour of the hybrid actor.

In the context of its invasion of Ukraine, Russia is carrying out a wide range of hybrid activities against the West (including disinformation, energy blackmail, attacks on critical infrastructure) to undermine Western support for Ukraine. The instrumentalisation of migration by Belarus at the borders of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland is also considered a hybrid attack. Latvia actively contributes to the NATO and EU efforts to seek the most effective solutions to counter hybrid threats.

With a view to contributing to the development of NATO’s capabilities in the information space, the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence has been operating in Latvia since 2014. The aim of the Centre is to build the strategic communication capabilities of NATO, its member states and partners, thereby strengthening the resilience of societies to disinformation.

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