Raimonds Bergmanis, Latvian Defence Minister, visited Warsaw, in a response to an invitation received from Antoni Macierewicz, head of the Polish Ministry of Defence. The talks covered the issues tied to the NATO summit, as well as the potential industrial collaboration of the two nations.
The meeting took place at the Polish Ministry of Defence. The talks covered, among other issues, reinforcement of the NATO presence in Mid-Eastern Europe, also within the context of the NATO Summit, planned to take place in Warsaw. Antoni Macierewicz announced that it was decided that a joint stance regarding that issue shall be presented.
Macierewicz stressed the fact that his Latvian counterpart selected Warsaw to be the first capital he would visit after the election. Polish Defence Minister added that the Polish Ministry is highly satisfied, in the light of that fact. During the meeting, the officials discussed the collaboration between two nations, also within the scope of the period preceding the NATO summit in Warsaw. Macierewicz and Raimonds talked about joint presentation of the basic issues related to permanent presence of the NATO forces in forward bases on the Alliance’s Eastern Flank. Polish Minister said that the stance taken by him and his Latvian colleague has a lot of common ground in between. Moreover, a decision has been made to start collaboration of the Polish and Latvian defence industries.
During the talks, some decisions were additionally made within the scope of cooperation between the Polish and Latvian defence industries. Notably, Riga, in the light of the Ukrainian Crisis, also decided to gradually increase the level of defence expenditure, from less than 1% of GDP within the period between 2012 and 2014, up to the amount constituting an equivalent of 2% of GDP. The latter level is going to be reached by 2018.
The Latvian Defence Minister noted that bilateral collaboration is being maintained, also in a regional dimension, and due to this, the talks covered the related issues. The Ministers, during the meeting, discussed the significance and strategic importance of the upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw, as the event is going to have a long term role to play, both when it comes to provision of security in the Baltic Sea area, as well as within the scope of maintaining the NATO's credibility.
Raimonds Bergmains expressed his satisfaction with the fact that Poland and Latvia share so much when it comes to security. The Latvian official was happy that stance of the two countries, regarding a variety of issues, is so coherent in some of the most significant areas. Bergmanis also made some references to the NATO Summit in Warsaw, planned to happen in July this year. The Latvian Minister also thanked Poland for its involvement in a variety of allied initiatives, above all for the Polish Air Force’s support for the Baltic Air Policing operation.