In 2017, Canada took up a leadership role as the Framework Nation of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP) Battlegroup in Latvia. And, immediately prior to NATO’s Brussels summit in July 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau renewed Canada’s commitment for four years, thereby showing the country intends to sustain its leadership in funding and staffing of both the EFP’s headquarters and battlegroup in Latvia.
The COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the world may have forced the Canadian Armed Forces to suspend or scale back many of its expeditionary missions, including training missions in Ukraine and Iraq.
However, there has been no attempt to scale back our current military mission in Latvia – a testament not only to the importance bestowed on the mission itself, but also to our growing partnership with our close NATO ally and host country, Latvia. Indeed, both Canada and Latvia are very much aware that Moscow might be tempted to take advantage of this pandemic to advance its own interests.
This mission is celebrating its third-year anniversary at the end of June, with plans for a new rotation of troops arriving in July. Even in the midst of a global pandemic, Canada’s role in this NATO EFP and our partnership with Latvia remain robust.
To shed light on these issues, MLI hosted this webinar bringing together top experts from Canada, the United States, and Latvia to discuss the current and future of direction of this NATO mission.
- Jānis Garisons, State Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Latvia
- Kevin Rex, Ambassador of Canada to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania
- Colonel Eric Laforest, Commander of Canadian Task Force Latvia
- Rachel Ellehuus, Deputy Director and Senior Fellow, Europe Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies
- Christian Leuprecht, MLI Munk Senior Fellow