On 5-6 October, Latvia and NATO held bilateral consultation in Riga to discuss the development of Latvian National Armed Forces and implementation of NATO capability development targets in scope of Alliance’s collective defence efforts.
Consultation with military and civil experts of National Armed Forces, Defence Ministry, Foreign Affairs Ministry, Interior Ministry and Ministry of Economics, State Fire and Rescue Service and Emergency Medical Services focused on land, sea and air response and reconstruction assistance, building of adequate capacity and various civil readiness issues.
NATO experts who took part in the consultation praised Latvia’s defence planning practices. Experts also highlighted Latvia’s commitment to raise defence spending to 2% of the GDP, urging Latvia to stay committed to this key target and keep allocating appropriate funding for development of vital defence capabilities.
Experts from NATO emphasised that Latvia has successfully prepared itself for the arrival of NATO enhanced forward presence battle group, constructed necessary infrastructure and resolved other practical issues raised by Canada-led battle group in Latvia.
Integrated security and defence planning and involvement of all relevant public sector stakeholders were recognised as strengths of Latvian system. Latvia has put in place the necessary legal framework and upgrades civil defence skills through agreed nation-wide training programme. Although procedures need further improvements and public bodies need better understanding of their respective roles in civic preparedness, NATO experts were pleased with Cabinet of Ministers peace-time crisis response time.