Sunday 16 June, 2024
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Sweden to deploy forces to Latvia following NATO accession

Sweden has announced its plans to join the NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battle Group Latvia and deploy a combat battalion to Latvia after finalising its accession to NATO.

The Swedish Prime Minister, Ulf Kristersson, announced during the “Folk och Försvar” conference in Sälen that a battalion-sized combat unit will be deployed to Latvia as a part of their commitment to strengthen NATO’s defence and deterrence posture.

“We are happy that Sweden has decided to make this important step as it finalises NATO accession. It will be a strong contribution to our regional security and will boost Latvia’s national defence,” Latvian Defence Minister Andris Sprūds underlined.

Minister Sprūds was invited to a conference to provide Swedish counterparts with an understanding of how Latvia implements its comprehensive national defence strategy and how it is incorporated into school curricula.

The annual conference this year focused on a range of issues, including Sweden’s path towards NATO membership, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, misinformation threats, challenges to democracy, and other key priorities.

NATO has intensified its military presence in the eastern part of the alliance due to Russia’s behaviour, which is characterized by a series of aggressive actions towards its neighbours and the wider transatlantic community. Russia poses the most significant and direct threat to security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic region.

The eFP was initially deployed in 2017 through the creation of four multinational battalion-sized battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. These battlegroups were led by the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and the United States, respectively.

Following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the alliance strengthened the existing battlegroups and agreed to form four additional multinational battlegroups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia increasing the number of multinational battlegroups to eight.

“This will be one of the army’s most visible initial contributions to NATO’s collective defence, a task we take very seriously,” said Major General Jonny Lindfors, the Chief of the Swedish Army. “The ability to provide military support outside our borders is crucial for our future role in NATO, just as the ability to receive military support in Sweden is.”

Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie is the founder and editor of DefenceToday.com. Neil is also the editor of other online publications covering military history, defence and security. He can be found on Twitter: @NeilRitchie86.

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