OTTAWA, February 1. /TASS/. Ottawa does not see Russia as an imminent military threat to NATO, Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan said at a meeting with his Latvian counterpart Raimonds Bergmanis, according to a statement issued by the Canadian Department of National Defense.
"At their meeting, Minister Sajjan reiterated that while Canada does not see Russia as an imminent military threat to NATO, Canada believes that the Alliance must closely monitor Russia’s military activities, particularly in the light of Russia’s aggressive language and behavior," the statement reads.
"Minister Sajjan and Minister Bergmanis also reaffirmed their interest in furthering bilateral defense cooperation such as training and sharing of expertise. Minister Bergmanis outlined plans for the enhancement of military infrastructure in Latvia which will benefit not only the Latvian Armed Forces but NATO troops in Latvia as well," the document adds.
At the NATO summit held in Warsaw in July 2016, a decision was made to deploy four multinational battalions to the Baltic countries (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia) and Poland. Each of these battlegroups consists of around 1,000 military servicemen. Canada is leading the battlegroup deployed to Latvia.
Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko said earlier that the decision to deploy NATO battalions to Eastern European countries was at odds with the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act.