OVIEDO, Spain (AA) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced the early renewal of the NATO mission Operation Reassurance in Latvia.
At a press conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Krisjanis Karins, Spain and Canada recommitted to sending more troops to the mission.
“We are here to protect every inch of allied territory,” said Stoltenberg. “Deterrence isn’t to provoke a war, it’s to preserve peace.”
Canada is sending another 460 troops to the Latvian base, while Spain is sending another 150.
“The troops are not only defending Eastern Europe, they’re also defending all NATO allies including Canada. They’re defending freedom and security,” said Trudeau.
“I am here to support our Baltic allies and to send a clear message to Putin: NATO allies are united and the transatlantic bond is stronger than ever,” added Sanchez.
While the leaders were forceful in their remarks and committed to taking action over any Russian attacks on NATO territory, they insisted that the alliance remains purely defensive.
“Our ultimate responsibility is to keep our 1 billion citizens safe. We must do everything to avoid conflict from spreading beyond Ukraine,” said Stoltenberg.
They did not discuss sanctioning Russia further for its attack on Ukraine, though Sanchez said the EU would debate additional measures at the Versailles summit on Thursday.