“Security is not cheap. Otherwise the price is the entire country,” Latvian Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis said.
On February 15, as part of a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels, Bergmanis took part in a meeting of the North Atlantic Council.
The meeting discussed the realization of decision made at the NATO Summit in Warsaw, including the formation of a multinational battalion-size combat group and its deployment in Baltic States and Poland. Participants of the discussion also touched upon the topic of the alliance’s capability of combating emerging security threats and terrorism, Defense Ministry reports.
The minister emphasized that more than ever before the defense resource matter was currently the alliance’s main priority.
“Security is not cheap. Otherwise the price is the entire country,” Bergmanis said. “Latvia’s government is committed to increase the country’s defense budget to 2% of GDP next year. As Latvia’s defense minister, I will fight to ensure this decision is not changed.”
Bergmanis expressed support towards the increase of NATO’s involvement in the fights against terrorism. He also affirmed Latvia’s concerns for the situation in countries impacted by terrorism.
“Latvia has been part of the fight against terrorism for 15 years as part of NATO, EU and international coalitions. To achieve this goal, our troops fought side by side with soldiers from USA, Britain, Spain, Poland, Norway, Germany, France, Denmark and other allied countries. Latvia is determined to continue this fight.”
Bergmanis also emphasized that it was important to enhance the alliance’s unity and cooperation among member states, as well as secure appropriate funding for defense. (BNN/Business World Magazine)