Commander JFC Brunssum Visits Latvia
Commander Joint Forces Command Brunssum, General Salvatore Farina, completed his first official visit to Latvia today. Whilst there, he conducted talks with the Minister of Defence, Mr Raimonds Bergmanis, and the Chief of Defence, General Raimonds Graube.
The meeting reviewed discussions at NATO's Allied Reach conference - a forward looking meeting of NATO's senior military leadership held this week in Riga - and discussed security challenges facing the Alliance.
General Farina outlined the work his Command has undertaken to deliver the strengthening of the NATO Alliance that was agreed at the Wales Summit in 2014. This includes a number of measures particularly relevant to the Baltic Region such as the development of the Very High Readiness Task Force (VJTF) and the NATO Force Integration Units (NFIUS) that are both in the process of demonstrating their capabilities in a series of scheduled exercises.
The Latvian side presented their assessment of the current situation including the high level of Russian activity in border areas and in the Baltic Sea, and the continued development, moderation and exercising of Russian Forces close to NATO territory. The run up to NATO's next Summit, to be held in Warsaw in July 2016, was reviewed and it was agreed to meet again after the Summit to discuss future cooperation in support of Collective Defence.
Both sides underlined their commitment to the principle of Collective Defence at 28; their readiness to defend Alliance territory; and their hope that dialogue with Russia will lead to mutual understanding and respect for sovereignty and international law. General Farina's closing remark, 'NATO is a defensive Alliance, its members are one for all and all for one', was endorsed by all.