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Monday, October 3, 2022

US promises to help defend Baltic countries

RIGA, Latvia ( Associated Press) – The United States will conduct more joint military exercises with the Baltic states and look for ways to increase the training of its forces, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced Wednesday as Washington will be adding additional troops to the region. can send. Against a possible threat from Russia.

Speaking at a news conference in Riga with Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks, Austin said that Washington could send troops from brigades stationed in Romania or other parts of Europe, Austin said, “but we can also send troops from the United States.” can send”.

Austin’s visit comes as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its sixth month, as Russian forces slowly advance and Ukrainian forces counterattack to the south. Ukraine is also struggling to drive out Russian forces in the east.

Austin is the first US Secretary of Defense to visit Latvia in nearly three decades, highlighting the importance of the region from the Russian border to Washington. The Baltic nations have closely watched Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and fear they may be the next victims of Russian aggression. According to the Pentagon, the last US Secretary of Defense to visit Latvia was William Perry in 1995.

Pabrix said his top priority is to get more American trainers, adding that the training is needed on a daily basis to defend the country. He said Latvia also needs more financial support from Washington to buy more war equipment and strengthen its coastal and air defenses.

Over two days of meetings in Riga, Austin repeatedly expressed the United States’ commitment to helping defend the region.

He met US troops on Tuesday, including members of a special brigade dedicated to training the armed forces of other countries.

Austin announced on Wednesday that he would try to keep up with the task force’s activity in the Baltic countries.


Associated Press writer Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen contributed to this report.

World Nation News Desk
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