Canada pledges €245m for European, Baltic defense ({{commentsTotal}})

Canada is to spend approximately 245 million euros (348.6 million Canadian dollars) on its reassurance mission in Europe over the next few days, LSM's English-language service reported Latvian information agency LETA as saying.

LETA was informed of the figure by the Canadian Embassy in Riga.

"Through Operation Reassurance, the Canadian Armed Forces have strengthened NATO's defense by contributing soldiers on the ground in Central and Eastern Europe, deploying a persistent maritime presence in European waters and by providing air contributions to Romania and the Baltic states," said the Canadian Embassy. "The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have also participated in an ambitious and transparent exercise cycle with allies."

Following the July 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada's intentions to renew the mandate of Operation Reassurance as part of its contribution to NATO's deterrence and defense posture.

According to the embassy, 348.6 million Canadian dollars are earmarked for the renewal of the CAF's operation over the next three years. Canadian troops will be deploying to Latvia at the later's invitation in order to train, share and learn, the embassy added.

Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs confirmed to LETA during December's meeting of allied defense ministers in Brussels that the battle group to be stationd in Latvia had been finalized following Spain's decision to join the Canadian-led NATO battalion.

"The Canadian-led battalion will be made up of soldiers from Canada, Albania, Italy, Spain, Slovenia and Poland," said Rinkēvičs. "At the moment, both the Latvian and Canadian sides are working intensively with all countries to deal with practical matters."

According to LSM, Canada has committed to sending up to 455 trops to Latvia including a battle group headquarters element, a mechanized infantry company, combat service support vehicles as well as equipment; this will be Canada's largest sustained military presence in Europe in over a decade.

Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla

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