Right now, threats to human rights and democracy are increasing around the world. We are experiencing multiple global challenges: Russia’s war against Ukraine, which is also causing food and energy insecurity around the world, other armed conflicts, and the impacts of climate change. Today, strong collaboration among world leaders is necessary to address these issues and make life better for people – now and in the future.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced he will travel to Latvia and Lithuania from July 10 to 12, 2023. The Prime Minister will participate in an official bilateral visit in Riga, Latvia on July 10 before travelling to Vilnius, Lithuania to meet with Allies and partners and attend the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Leaders’ Summit.
In Latvia, a close friend and ally to Canada, Prime Minister Trudeau will meet with the President of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs, and the Prime Minister of Latvia, Krišjānis Kariņš to continue strengthening our partnership. Prime Minister Trudeau will also meet with members of the Canadian Armed Forces serving in the Canada-led multinational NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia, which is part of Operation REASSURANCE – NATO’s assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe and part of the biggest reinforcement of Alliance collective defence in a generation. It is Canada’s largest overseas mission.
In Lithuania, Prime Minister Trudeau will participate in the NATO Summit, where leaders will continue to advance the delivery of concrete support to Ukraine, enhance the Alliance’s deterrence and defence capabilities, and promote cooperation with Indo-Pacific partners, among other critical security and defence issues. The Prime Minister will also underline the importance of upholding human rights, democracy, and the rules-based international order.
During his engagements with Allies and partners, the Prime Minister will work to advance shared priorities, including strengthening transatlantic security and fighting climate change while building our clean economies. He will also work with partners to address global food and energy insecurity caused by Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the destabilizing impacts of global terrorism, and other current and emerging challenges.
This will also be an opportunity for Prime Minister Trudeau to strengthen Canada’s close collaboration with NATO Allies and emphasize our commitment to advancing the NATO Climate Change and Security Action Plan.
“For almost 75 years, Canada has been a committed member of NATO. The Alliance is a cornerstone of Canada’s international security policy, and that is why we are strengthening our relationship with NATO Allies. I look forward to the bilateral visit in Latvia as well as continuing to work with NATO Allies to reaffirm our unwavering support for Ukraine while addressing multiple challenges facing the world and making life better for people.”
- This will be Prime Minister Trudeau’s third visit to Latvia. He last visited Latvia in March 2022.
- In February 2017, Latvia became the first European Union (EU) Member State to ratify the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Strategic Partnership Agreement. Bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Latvia totalled almost $485 million in 2022, with nearly $402 million in exports and nearly $83 million in imports from Latvia.
- Canada was the first G7 country to recognize the restoration of Latvia’s independence in 1991, and one of the first countries to ratify Latvia’s accession to NATO in 2004.
- Canada steadfastly supports NATO’s principle of collective defence and is providing direct support to NATO missions, operations, and activities.
- Current Canadian contributions to NATO include:
- Leading the multinational NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia as the Framework Nation since 2017 as part of Operation REASSURANCE.
- Providing support to NATO maritime forces through the deployment of surface and sub-surface vessels as part of Operation REASSURANCE. His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Fredericton is currently deployed with Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG 2) in the Mediterranean Sea. On July 3, 2023, HMCS Shawinigan and Summerside departed, from their homeport of Halifax, Nova Scotia, to join Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1).
- Continuing to support training and capacity building efforts in the Middle East under Operation IMPACT, including through NATO Mission Iraq.
- Continuing to provide Canadian Armed Forces personnel support to the NATO-led international peace support operation in Kosovo through Operation KOBOLD.
- Providing signals intelligence to partners, cyber security assistance to Ukraine and Latvia, and supporting Operation UNIFIER, the Canadian Armed Forces training.
- Canada contributes Canadian Armed Forces personnel to the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence located in Riga, as well as the NATO Force Integration Units in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.