Latvian president says permanent NATO base in the country necessary
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US Army tank participates in NATO military exercise in Latvia
03/26/2021REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

The country is a member of NATO and shares a border with Russia; the president fears an invasion and wants to protect himself against any potential Russian aggression.

Latvian President Egils Levits stressed on Sunday that a permanent NATO military base in the country is “absolutely” necessary to protect the population against any potential Russian aggression.

“Absolutely. NATO must strengthen the organization’s eastern flank. It’s the Baltic countries, like Poland, Romania. This needs to be a strong signal to Moscow that NATO is ready to defend member states,” Levits told CNN’s Dana Bash of the “State of the Union” and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s announcement, on a permanent NATO base in Latvia, which would protect the country.

“I also salute the American troops in Poland and the Baltic, and we need the presence of American troops here in this area as well,” he added.

“They must defend our way of life and our democracies, and this is a matter of trust for the West. It is a test for the West, for American leadership. And I am sure that America and the West as a whole will pass this test.”

Latvia, a NATO member that borders Russia, has in recent days condemned the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine. The war prompted the US to help Latvia bolster its defenses, including sending hundreds of US troops and a few fighter jets into the country.

Source: with agencies

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