Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is visiting Riga today Tuesday. Trudeau is meeting his Latvian counterpart, Maris Kučinskis, for talks ahead of the NATO summit in Brussels starting tomorrow, and will also visit Canadian troops stationed in Ādaži, Latvian public broadcaster LSM's English news reported.
At a press conference on Tuesday morning, Trudeau assured reporters that Canada will continue to contribute to security in the Baltic Sea region: "These are uncertain times and I assured the Prime Minister Canada will continue to step up, as we always do. We remain unwavering in our support for security in the Baltic region," Trudeau said.
Canada will extend its contribution to NATO's enhanced forward presence battalion, Trudeau added: "Our mission's current mandate ends in 2019. This announcement today extends our commitment for four more years."
The country's future contribution will include CF-18 fighter jets of the Royal Canadian Air Force as well as have a cybersecurity as well, in line with Canada's defence policy, Trudeau said.
The prime minister also paid tribute to the 28,000 strong Latvian community in Canada, which he said enriched Canadian society, LSM reported.
Asked about Canada's failure to achieve the 2% GDP defence investment spending as set out in NATO's aims at the 2014 Wales summit, Trudeau said that the aim was fairly "primitive" and that current modernisation and extension efforts of the Canadian military are sufficient.
Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kučinskis said that despite the great distance separating the two countries, cooperation between Canada and Latvia is a lot better than is the case with plenty of countries that are a lot closer to each other. He called the extended mission of Canadian troops in Latvia "a great present" that will contribute significantly to national security.
Editor: Dario Cavegn