Canada confirms battalion to be sent to Latvia to deter 'troublemaker' Russia (6)

Canadian troops at a military exercise. Photo is illustrative. ( Seth Johnson/ U.S. Coast Guard/Wikimedia Commons)
7/11/2016 6:32 PM
Category: News

Canada promised on Monday that the multinational battalion of soldiers slated to arrive in Latvia in early 2017 will remain there so long as Russia continues to "cause problems" in the region.

Ottawa's promise referred to NATO's decision to send a thousand-strong battalion each to Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. This plan, which involves the largest reinforcement of NATO's eastern flank since theCold War, was officially endorsed at the Warsaw Summit which took place over the weekend.

"As long as Russia is a troublemaker in the region, we need to be strong together, and Canada will be part of it," said Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion said after meeting with his Latvian counterpart Edgars Rinkēvičs in Riga on Monday.

According to Dion, Canadian troops would remain in Latvia "as long as it is necessary," and use "strong dialogue" to convince the Baltics' eastern neighbor to change their behavior.

Canada announced that it will lead a multinational battalion in Latvia beginning in early 2017. The battalions to be deployed to Estonia, Lithuania and Poland will be led by the UK, Germany and the US, respectively.

Editor: Aili Sarapik

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