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Canada to ‘more than double’ military presence in Latvia

Canadian PM tells Israel 'killing of babies' must stop
Source: Video Screenshot

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday his country will “more than double” its military presence in Latvia, a Baltic state neighbouring Russia, as leaders gear up for a crucial NATO summit.

Canada is currently leading the NATO Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia, which is now to be expanded to a brigade level.

“We are going to more than double our presence, deploying up to an additional 1,200 members of the Canadian Armed Forces to serve and defend democracy and the rule of law,” Trudeau told reporters in the Adazi military base in Latvia.

Trudeau said the additional troops “will reinforce and enhance our land, maritime and air capabilities and support special operations in Central and Eastern Europe.”

He added the reinforcement will be a part of a “$2.6 billion investment… which also includes the purchase of critical weapon systems and support for intelligence and cyber activities.”

“This is just one more way that Canada is stepping up to support our allies and standing up against the Kremlin‘s aggression,” Trudeau said.

At the press conference, Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins announced the country’s military spending will reach three percent of gross domestic product next year, instead of in 2027 as initially planned.

Trudeau also said Canada was opposed to using cluster munitions that the United States pledged to send to Ukraine.

“Canada was one of the countries that led on the banning of cluster munitions and we continue to be very firm that they should never be used,” he said.

Latvia was Trudeau’s last stop before Vilnius in neighbouring Lithuania where NATO leaders are due to meet for a summit on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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