US Troops Land in Latvia
MILITARISM, 5 May 2014
Latvia on Friday [25 Apr 2014] welcomed American troops on its soil, part of a US force of 600 sent to the region to reassure the Baltic states amid concern over Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
“Today is a special day because this morning I met the heads of the armed forces at the Adazi military base and greeted the US military unit that arrived this morning for military training,” Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma told reporters.
Some 150 troops from the 173rd Airborne Brigade will be based at the Adazi base near capital Riga until at least the end of the year, according to the Latvian defence ministry.
Another company of soldiers arrived in Poland on Wednesday, while around 150 others are each expected in Lithuania on Saturday and Estonia early next week.
Washington on Tuesday said it was sending the 600 troops to the region to increase its presence in the region and reassure its NATO allies and partners.
Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas, who was visiting Latvia on Thursday, welcomed the gesture, saying: “We are strong together”.
“I am glad that today our allies arrived here on Latvian soil and this shows that the NATO alliance is there for us,” he said after talks with Straujuma.
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