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Canada Trudeau expected to extend mission in Latvia

05:31  10 july  2018
05:31  10 july  2018 Source:   msn.com

Trudeau gearing up for NATO summit

  Trudeau gearing up for NATO summit Trudeau gearing up for NATO summitOTTAWA - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other world leaders are gearing up for what already promises to be a lively debate on defence spending at the upcoming NATO summit in Brussels next week.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans to extend Canada's Latvia mission ahead of this week's NATO summit in Brussels in order to deter Russian aggression.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to commit Canada to spend several more years leading a NATO battle group in Latvia -- news that will come on the eve of the alliance's annual leaders' summit in Brussels and a likely showdown with U.S. President Donald Trump over military spending.

a close up of a plane© Provided by thecanadianpress.com

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to commit Canada to spend several more years leading a NATO battle group in Latvia — news that will come Tuesday on the eve of the alliance's summit in Brussels, where leaders will be braced for a showdown with U.S. President Donald Trump over military spending.

Trudeau arrived in Latvia late Monday, one day before he'll visit the approximately 450 Canadian troops leading the multinational force that was first announced in 2016 as a check against Russian aggression in eastern Europe.

That will serve as the backdrop for the news that Canada is renewing the mission, the current three-year mandate for which is currently run out on March 31, 2019, sources told The Canadian Press, speaking on condition of anonymity in order to discuss details not yet made public.

Justin Trudeau to visit Canadian troops in Latvia ahead of NATO summit

  Justin Trudeau to visit Canadian troops in Latvia ahead of NATO summit Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will visit Latvia before heading to the NATO summit in Brussels next week. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will visit Canadian troops in Latvia before attending the NATO The Prime Minister's Office says the visit will be an opportunity for Trudeau to reaffirm Canada's commitment to the NATO alliance and Euro-Atlantic security. The Canadian-led multinational NATO battle group was established in Latvia as the alliance's response to Russia's surprise annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its invasion of eastern Ukraine.

Trudeau arrived in Latvia late Monday, one day before he’ll visit the approximately 450 Canadian troops leading the multinational force that was The prime minister is expected to use the extension to defend Canada from criticism from Trump that America’s northern neighbour is not spending

Trudeau arrived in Latvia late Monday, one day before he'll visit the approximately 450 Canadian troops leading the multinational force that was first And while Canada's role in the Latvian mission is positive, it is a relatively small one compared to ongoing NATO missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo

Such an extension has been widely expected. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has asserted numerous times that Canada remains committed to leading the mission for the foreseeable future.

The Canadian-led battle group is one of four in the region, and includes troops from Albania, the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. Germany leads a similar force in Lithuania, Britain leads one in Estonia and the U.S. leads in Poland.

"We're not here trying to take an aggressive posture. This is about deterrence. We would like Russia to get back to normality," Sajjan told The Canadian Press in January during a joint interview with Latvian Defence Minister Raimonds Bergmanis.

"This will take some time. And Canada is committed for the long term."

Trudeau set to extend Canada's leadership role in NATO's Latvia mission

  Trudeau set to extend Canada's leadership role in NATO's Latvia mission The Liberal government plans to extend its NATO leadership role in Latvia for several years, CBC News has learned. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will  "deliver a strong message" of solidarity during his bilateral visit to the Baltic state, said several sources from Defence, Foreign Affairs and other government departments. Canada's mission leadership role faces a self-imposed government deadline of spring 2019. It is now expected to continue for at least another three years. Announcing the extension might serve the Liberals well in the current political climate.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to extend Canada’s NATO leadership role in Latvia for several years. Canada's 450 troops form the nucleus of a

Trudeau is expected to announce an extension of Canada's leadership role in the NATO mission in Latvia . (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press). The Department of Defence argued in a recent report that Canada has little choice but to extend its presence in Latvia , which costs taxpayers 4 million per

The prime minister is expected to use the extension to defend Canada from criticism from Trump that America's northern neighbour is not spending enough on defence.

Canada and other countries have faced U.S. pressure to meet the alliance's target of spending two per cent of GDP on defence and 20 per cent of defence budgets on equipment — a target member states agreed to in 2014 at a NATO summit in Wales.

Trump has sent letters to the leaders of several NATO allies, including Canada, expressing "growing frustration" over the fact the targets are still not being met by the majority of alliance nations.

The Liberal government has repeatedly argued that has Canada consistently contributed to NATO operations and efforts — as evidenced by its role in Latvia — and committed to grow funding for defence by 70 per cent over the coming decade.

But critics have noted that even with the increase, Canadian defence spending will top out at 1.4 per cent of GDP, and it's unclear to what degree extending an existing mission will satisfy Trump's demands for Canada and others to put up more cash.

Canada extending mission in Latvia

  Canada extending mission in Latvia Canada extending mission in LatviaTrudeau made the announcement in Riga following a meeting with Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis and indicated that he hopes the increased Canadian commitment to Latvia gets the attention of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trudeau arrived in Latvia late Monday, one day before he'll visit the approximately 450 Canadian troops leading the multinational force that was first And while Canada's role in the Latvian mission is positive, it is a relatively small one compared to ongoing NATO missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo

Prime Minister Trudeau announced that Canada would "step up" its efforts in Latvia by extending the mandate another four years. As Melissa Duggan reports

And while Canada's role in the Latvian mission is positive, it is a relatively small one compared to ongoing NATO missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo — two operations that are highlighted in annual reports from NATO secretary general Jans Stoltenberg, said David Perry, a senior defence analyst with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

"We're doing good things in Latvia, we're one of four countries that are leading the battle groups ... but the two that the secretary general tracks in his report, we have five out of about 18,000 troops."

The Liberal government last year rebuffed requests from the Trump administration and NATO for allies to redouble their efforts in Afghanistan, including a specific appeal for Canadian police to help train Afghan security forces.

France, meanwhile, is expected to pledge this week that it will meet the two per cent spending target within the next seven years, while Germany says it will reach 1.5 per cent of GDP by 2024.

German newspaper Bild am Sonntag quoted Stoltenberg as saying, "One and a half per cent is not two per cent."

Rosie DiManno: I hate to say it, but Trump is right about Canada’s military spending

  Rosie DiManno: I hate to say it, but Trump is right about Canada’s military spending Rosie DiManno: I hate to say it, but Trump is right about Canada’s military spending(Hold your outrage, that adjective has nothing to do with the Welsh.

Trudeau is expected to announce an extension of Canada's leadership role in the NATO mission in Latvia . The Liberal government plans to extend its NATO leadership role in Latvia for several years, CBC News has learned. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will "deliver a strong message" of solidarity

Trudeau arrived in Latvia late Monday, one day before he'll visit the approximately 450 Canadian troops leading the multinational force that was first And while Canada's role in the Latvian mission is positive, it is a relatively small one compared to ongoing NATO missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo

Any extension in Latvia will nonetheless be welcomed by the country's government, which has turned to Canada and NATO for support and reassurance in the face of Russia's recent attempts to flex its muscle and exert its influence across eastern Europe.

"This Latvian enhanced forward presence mission altogether in the Baltics and Poland is one of the most successful missions of NATO," said Karlis Eihenbaums, the Latvian ambassador to Canada.

"We feel much more stable as a people and also the NATO eastern flank is much more stable. You can ask our neighbouring countries which are not NATO members, like Sweden or Finland, what they think, they are very much for this presence ... they are very happy that Canadians are there."

Eihenbaums said security is also a concern when it comes to trade — Latvia has been trying to grow its exports to Canada under the Canada-EU trade agreement.

"In order to trade we have to have safety," he said. "We should not stop (the Latvian mission), probably we should go further because we have to think about the air, we have to think about the water, we have to think about the seas."

— With files from Lee Berthiaume in Ottawa; follow @ReporterTeresa on Twitter

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said the news of Canada's mission extension in Latvia would come Wednesday.

Thomas Walkom: Justin Trudeau is supporting Donald Trump’s military agenda .
The dispute between Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau over Canada’s financial contribution to NATO is a sideshow. The real story is that Canada is being drawn increasingly into America’s wars. That is the import of Trudeau’s announcement last week on Iraq. Canada is already training Iraqi troops in the north of the country, as well as working in an unspecified manner with Kurdish militias there.Wednesday’s announcement commits Ottawa to running a new NATO training mission in Baghdad.

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