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July 4, 2022

Latvia and Estonia to jointly procure air defence systems

The joint effort will promote stability and security in the region.

Latvia has signed a letter of intent (LoI) with Estonia for the joint procurement of medium-range air defence systems.

The LoI was signed between Estonian Defence Minister Kalle Laanet and Latvian Defence Minister Artis Pabriks on 30 June.

It was signed during Nato’s meeting of heads of the state and government in Madrid, Spain.

The joint procurement will allow both countries to maximise the efficiency of defence investments and coordinate their defence resources.

The effort will also promote stability and security in the region.

Pabriks said: “Russian invasion of Ukraine has clearly shown that we need to secure air defence systems.

“Latvia is happy to cooperate with Estonia on this procurement – such joint projects make regional cooperation and collective defence only stronger.”

This procurement project, launched by Latvia and Estonia in later stages, can also be joined by other allied nations.

The new systems will enhance the capabilities of Latvia’s military to take down missiles that are being used for attacking Ukrainian cities.

Laanet said: “The Nato Summit has given a clear signal that those who are ready to contribute to the defence themselves will be helped.”

According to Laanet, it is important that Estonia, in addition to the support offered by its Allies, is ready to contribute to air defence.

On 26 June, Latvia deployed the Spanish-supplied Norwegian advanced surface-to-air missile system (NASAMS) at Lielvārde Air Base.

It will provide air defence capabilities to the Latvian Armed Forces prior to the completion of the latest procurement.

Latvia is expected to gradually increase its defence investments to 2.5% of the Gross Domestic Product by 2025. The latest procurement comes under additionally allocated funding.

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