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


OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will visit Canadian troops in Latvia before attending the NATO summit in Brussels next week.

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.

Canada’s leadership of the battle group represents Canada’s largest sustained military presence in Europe in over a decade.

Trudeau, who will meet in Riga with Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis and President Raimonds Vejonis, will be accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Gen. Jonathan Vance, Canada’s chief of the defence staff.

The visit will mark the first-ever bilateral visit to Latvia by a Canadian prime minister.

The Canadian Press