Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made the announcement official today that that about 450 Canadian troops will go to Latvia on a NATO mission to deter Russian aggression in eastern Europe.
Trudeau says the Canadian mission to Latvia represents the country’s largest military presence in Europe in more than a decade, and reaffirms Canada’s commitment to the NATO alliance. Canada will command a 1,000-strong multinational force in Latvia, and Trudeau said it was important that Russia get the message from NATO about its actions in Ukraine.
Officials had already announced that Canada would contribute 450 troops and armoured vehicles, and Trudeau said Saturday at the NATO summit in Poland that the Canadian contribution would also include a frigate and six CF-18 aircraft. He said Canada was enthusiastic about its role in the Latvian mission, and that he had received thanks from Latvian president Raimonds Vejonis.
Canada also announced Saturday that it will contribute $465 million over three years for aid projects and security in Afghanistan. Trudeau said much has been accomplished in that country, but more remains to be done.
Trudeau also said he’s confident Canada’s free trade deal with the European Union will be ratified.