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Hagel Praises Latvia’s Efforts to Boost Defense Spending

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, July 3, 2014 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met at the Pentagon today with Latvia’s Minister of Defense Raimonds Vējonis and congratulated him for the Baltic nation’s progress toward increasing defense spending.

Both leaders also discussed steps that have been taken to demonstrate U.S. and allied commitment to the Baltic region as well as ongoing efforts to provide a persistent presence in the area, ranging from augmented NATO air policing to the deployment of company-size rotational forces to the Baltic states and Poland, according to a statement issued after the meeting by Pentagon Assistant Press Secretary Carl Woog.

Latvia joined NATO on March 29, 2004.

Woog’s statement reads as follows:

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel met with Latvia’s Minister of Defense Raimonds Vējonis here today. Secretary Hagel congratulated Minister Vējonis on recent progress Latvia has made towards increasing their defense spending.

Among the topics discussed were efforts taken to date to demonstrate U.S. and allied commitment to the Baltic region as well as ongoing efforts to provide persistent presence in the area, ranging from augmented NATO air policing to the deployment of company-size rotational forces to the Baltic states and Poland. Secretary Hagel said we would continue to work with NATO to broaden support -- a focal point of efforts at the NATO Summit.

Finally, Secretary Hagel and Minister Vējonis discussed further opportunities for regional cooperation as discussed in last August’s Baltic Summit at the White House. The secretary stressed that the U.S. will continue to work with the Baltic States to support regional cooperation, interoperability with allies and long-term defense modernization.

 

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Biographies:
Chuck Hagel

Related Sites:
NATO
Operation Atlantic Resolve: America’s Continued Commitment to European Security
Fact Sheet: The United States and Latvia -- NATO Allies and Global Partners



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