Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday announced during his visit to Latvia the early renewal of Canada’s military contribution to NATO’s mission, known as Operation Reassurance one year before it was scheduled to end.
Trudeau joined with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš visited the troops on the alliance’s base and training range at Adazi, outside Latvia’s capital Riga and met with NATO Sec. Gen. Jens Stoltenberg to discuss how allies can prevent the war of Russian invasion of Ukraine from spreading.
Although the mandate for the deployment of hundreds of Canadian soldiers in Latvia was slated to expire in 2023, Canada’s federal cabinet extended it indefinitely in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
This move was welcomed by Stoltenberg on Tuesday when he and the three prime ministers spoke to the media after their meetings.
Trudeau also reaffirmed that Canada would stand in solidarity to support Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, as well as democracy and human rights everywhere.
As a leader of the NATO battle group in Latvia, Canada plans to reinforce it with an artillery battery, bringing the total contingent to roughly 660 soldiers.
Canada would also contribute two frigates to NATO standing naval task forces, a maritime surveillance plane, and six CF-18s for air policing on a rotational basis.