Courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia

November 16, 2015

On 16 November, a NATO Force Integration Unit (NFIU) was opened in Riga. The establishment of such a unit in Latvia as well as in Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary is part of NATO’s adaptation to changes in security environment in Europe.

The establishment of a NATO Force Integration Unit in Latvia is one of the elements of an enhanced NATO military presence in our region. This is one of the measures for the implementation of the Readiness Action Plan adopted at the NATO Wales Summit and it will be instrumental during military exercises and in the strengthening of response capabilities. The activation of NFIUs is a step in the direction of full implementation of the Readiness Action Plan ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw scheduled for 8-9 June 2016. The President of Latvia, Raimonds Vejonis, also intends to take part in the event.

Such measures for enhancing NATO’s presence are indicative of the Alliance’s solidarity, unity, and its preparedness to adapt and respond in a timely manner to present day security challenges.

Accompanying a commitment to increase the budget for national defence, reaching 2% of GDP by 2018, the activation of a NATO Force Integration Unit confirms that Latvia, as a NATO member, is prepared to assume responsibilities of collective defence.

Beside officials from NATO, the Ministry of Defence and the National Armed Forces of Latvia, the official ceremony for the opening of the NATO Force Integration Unit was attended by Andrejs Pildegovics, State Secretary of the Foreign Ministry; Ambassador Baiba Braze, Head of the Directorate for Security Policy and International Organisations; and Indulis Berzins, Latvia’s Ambassador to NATO.