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Latvia seeks NATO presence, military base not on agenda — PM

August 20, 2014, 17:28 UTC+3 RIGA
Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma says the presence of German and American military would contribute to maintaining security in Latvia
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NATO military drills in Latvia, Jun. 2014

NATO military drills in Latvia, Jun. 2014

©  EPA/VALDA KALNINA

RIGA, August 20. /ITAR-TASS/. Latvia needs long-term NATO military presence, Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma told local television on Wednesday, saying, however, that a NATO military base was not on the agenda.

“We have discussed (with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel) the need for a long-term military presence of the Alliance here. She said she was ready to help create military infrastructure in Latvia,” the prime minister said.

“Military from Germany, for their part, will participate in the war games in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland,” Straujuma said, adding that the presence of German and American military would contribute to maintaining security in the country.

Latvia has not asked for the deployment of a NATO military base, she said, as “this is not the position of the government and the Seim (parliament) of Latvia”.

During a visit to the Latvian capital Riga on Tuesday, the German chancellor discussed with the Latvian leadership the situation in Ukraine and security issues related to the crisis, as well as the effects from the Russian embargo. 

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