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Latvia and Finland have vast opportunities for cooperation in developing artillery capabilities - Finnish minister
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    Latvia and Finland have vast opportunities for cooperation in developing artillery capabilities - Finnish minister

    RIGA, Feb 13 (LETA) - Latvia and Finland have vast opportunities for cooperation in developing artillery capabilities, believes Finnish Defense Minister Jussi Niinisto who has arrived in Latvia on a visit.

    Latvian Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis (Greens/Farmers) met with Niinisto in Latvia’s southwestern city of Liepaja to discuss defense cooperation and participate in events dedicated to the centenary of the two countries, LETA was told at the Defense Ministry’s press office.

    During the meeting with Niinisto, Bergmanis underlined the necessity to strengthen Latvian-Finnish defense cooperation, which in 2017 saw significant progress.

    Latvia and Finland have vast opportunities of cooperation in developing artillery capabilities. Moreover, in the Baltic region there is a common approach and huge opportunities to develop them, Niinisto said.

    The Latvian defense minister voiced satisfaction about bilateral training cooperation which has been started this year as Finland’s armed forces have been teaching Latvian soldiers to use Stinger air-defense systems.

    As reported, the Latvian and Danish defense ministries last year signed an agreement under which Latvia will purchase Stingers from the Danish armed forces. Finland is one of Latvia’s allies that are already using these air-defense missile systems and has expressed readiness to share its experience with the Latvian armed forces.

    Bergmanis also praised Finnish experts’ support to the creation of a comprehensive national defense model Latvia.

    Bergmanis also expressed readiness to collaborate with Finland on joint defense purchases.

    During the conversation, the Latvian defense minister informed Niinisto on Latvia’s progress on plans aimed at boosting Latvia’s self-defense capabilities, stressing the significance of this year’s increase in Latvia’s defense budget.

    Bergmanis also noted the role of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroups in bolstering regional security and the plan for Czech and Slovak soldiers to join the battlegroup in Latvia this year.

    Bergmanis also emphasized the significant role of Finland as a NATO partner in promoting security in the Baltic Sea region.

    While discussing security and defense cooperation in the European Union, Bergmanis said that in Latvia’s view, it is especially important to speed up and enhance the mobility of military personnel and transport across Europe, which can be achieved through participation in the Permanent Structured Cooperation in which Finland is one of the participating countries.

    At the end of the meeting Niinisto greeted Bergmanis on the Centenary of the Republic of Latvia.

    • Published: 13.02.2018 18:41
    • LETA
    • © The given news may not be republished in any way or amount, or otherwise used by the mass media or Internet websites, without written permission of LETA. If this provision is not observed, the matter will be taken to court pursuant to the laws and regulations of the Republic of Latvia.