New defense plans approved at the NATO summit in Vilnius earlier this month are not only focused on deterrence, but also on active defense, Latvian defense forces' chief Lieutenant General Leonids Kalniņš says.
"It's not just a case of a set number of troops simply being deployed to Latvia," he said.
"Their task is more practical than that. Combat-capable units with the necessary capabilities to carry out tactical operations are being deployed here," he went on.
While in Vilnius, Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, announced that his country would be doubling its number of troops deployed to Latvia, already the largest single Canadian military mission worldwide, to brigade size.
Canada heads up around a dozen NATO nations taking part in the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup based at Adaži, near Riga.
Meanwhile, a new, 25,600-hectare military training area is to be established in a sparsely populated area of southern Latvia, close to the Lithuanian border.
Lt. Gen. Kalniņš said: "The [defensive] plan is also significantly better in terms of quality, as it consolidates capabilities and objectives, and it has a clear structure."
All told, the new NATO plans hammered out at Vilnius are more robust than their predecessor, the Latvian commander-in-chief said.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Merili Nael