Latvia seeks Canadian support for expanded, permanent NATO presence in Baltics
Latvia's prime minister is in Ottawa today seeking Canada's support for an expanded, permanent NATO force in his country and fellow Baltic states Lithuania and Estonia.
In an interview, KriÅ¡jÄnis KariÅ†Å¡ says such an enhanced military presence will send a strong signal to Russia not to consider invading.
KariÅ†Å¡ is expected to convey his request directly to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when the two meet later today.
Canada currently has nearly 700 troops leading a NATO battlegroup in Latvia, one of four forces in the Baltics and Poland designed to deter a Russian attack.
KariÅ†Å¡ says the Canadians are performing admirably alongside counterparts from nine other alliance members, and that his country is grateful for their presence.
But he says Russia's invasion on Ukraine has shown the damage that such a conflict can sow on a nation, and the need to prevent Moscow from even considering an attack on the Baltics.