M. Kučinskis and NATO representatives discuss developments in security policy
On Wednesday 15 March, Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis held a meeting with members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
During the meeting, the officials discussed developments in security policy by paying particular attention to the implementation of decisions of the NATO Warsaw Summit.
M. Kučinskis pointed out that Latvia welcomes the decision of the Warsaw Summit to strengthen NATO presence in the region by sending a NATO battle group. "It is hoped that a situation when we need to use the NATO battle group will never come, however, the battle group should not be formal but actually capable of handling a crisis situation. There is the need for training where a number of scenarios are run to verify that we are ready to act quickly," said M. Kučinskis. The Prime Minister also reiterated Latvia’s commitment to increase its defence budget to 2% of GDP by 2018.
The focus of the meeting was also on the EU-NATO cooperation. M. Kučinskis noted that the transatlantic link is the basis for European security. There is the need to encourage more active coordination and synergy between the EU and NATO. It is essential that the EU’s security and defence capabilities would complement, and not duplicate NATO’s capabilities.
As regards the role of NATO, the Prime Minister pointed out that Latvia supports NATO's efforts in strengthening the security alliance in the south and stability in NATO’s neighbouring regions. Latvia is not only a consumer of security but also contributes to the fight against terrorism and strengthening of stability - the Latvian soldiers participate in the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan and the Global Coalition to counter the ISIL / Da'esh. Financial support to the Afghan National Security Forces, as well as Iraq and Syria is also provided.
Press Secretary to the Prime Minister
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