Prime Minister Trudeau delivers remarks in Riga, Latvia
Hello, everyone. I am very pleased to be with you here today.
I’d like to first thank Prime Minister Karinš, thank you so much for your warm welcome, as we continue to strengthen the relationship between Canada and Latvia. Prime Minister Sánchez – Pedro – it’s good to see you, I know how important the contribution of Spain is to the success of the mission here. NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg, thank you Jens for being with us today, it’s extremely important.
NATO truly is multinational. It was absolutely amazing to see the culminating military exercise of our troops from different nations, including those of Canada, Latvia, and Spain training together. It was great to be here, and I’m also very happy to be joined today by Minister Anand, our Minister of National Defence, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Eyre.
We had a very productive day today. On top of my different bilateral meetings with Krišjānis, Prime Minister Karinš, Prime Minister Sánchez, and NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg, I also met with President Levits of Latvia to discuss Ukraine and a broad range of topics.
In addition, this morning Krišjānis was able to organize that we were joined virtually by the Prime Minister of Estonia, Kaja Kallas, and the Prime Minister of Lithuania, Ingrida Šimonytė. We agreed to deepen the partnership between Canada and the Baltic countries, especially at this time of uncertainty.
Here at Camp Ādaži, I also had the opportunity to meet several members of the Canadian Armed Forces and from other NATO countries. I thanked them personally for their outstanding work and professionalism.
Last month Canada announced the deployment of up to 460 members of the Canadian Armed Forces to NATO through Operation REASSURANCE. This announcement includes more troops here in Latvia as well as the deployment of an additional frigate and maritime patrol aircraft. A total of 540 CAF personnel are now deployed here in Latvia and approximately 130 more will join in the coming weeks.
Well today, I can further announce an early multi-year renewal of Operation REASSURANCE to support NATO in Central and Eastern Europe. This mission was set to expire next year, and in light of the situation in Europe we decided to renew it ahead of schedule.
Operation REASSURANCE is the CAF’s support to NATO’s assurance and deterrence measures. The troops here are not only defending Latvia or Eastern Europe, they’re defending all NATO allies, including Canada. They’re defending our freedom and our security. That’s why this work is so important, especially in the face of continued Russian aggression.
Today, I can announce that Canada will be renewing Operation REASSURANCE for several years to support NATO, especially on the eastern flank. We will continue to be there to defend democracy in Europe and around the world. Tomorrow I will be in Berlin, where I will meet with Chancellor Scholz, and thank you again to our forces for welcoming us today.
Today in particular during International Women’s Day, I want to thank all the brave women who serve in the Canadian Armed Forces for their outstanding work and all the women who serve in armed forces around the world.
Canada will continue to be an ally and partner to help defend our shared values, and we will continue to be there for Ukraine.