RIGA, Jan 11 (LETA) - Spain will send 300 troops to the Canadian-led NATO battalion in Latvia, Latvian Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis (Greens/Farmers) said in an interview with the Latvian public radio today.
He said that the preparatory work for the arrival of the Canadian-led battle group are successful and in late January a meeting of all stakeholders with be held in Ottawa to discuss different practical matters.
"Spain has joined the battle group with a large unit - 300 troops, thus, the battalion will have more than 1,000 troops then - 1,100-1,200 soldiers," said Bergmanis.
Latvia's military bases, especially the military base in Adazi, are getting ready for the battalion, developing infrastructure, building barracks, the minister said.
As reported, NATO leaders at the summit in Warsaw in July 2016 approved the deployment of four multinational battalions to the Baltic countries and Poland as part of measures meant to deter Russia from possible aggression. Their deployment will begin in 2017 and proceed on a rotational basis.
Canada is the lead nation for the battalion to be stationed in Latvia. Half of the battalion will be Canadian soldiers, and it will also include soldiers from Albania, Italy, Spain, Poland and Slovenia.
Canada is to spend CND 348.6 million (EUR 245 million) in its reassurance/deterrence mission in Europe, including Latvia, over the next three years.
The Canadian troops will start arriving in spring this year.