Jul 08, 2016
By Michael Kramer
Canada is waiting to see what other countries will contribute – as it withholds key details on a plan to help a NATO force in Eastern Europe.
But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that Canada will take command of a 1,000-strong multinational force in Latvia – as the alliance strengthens its presence in the Baltics and Poland – in response to recent Russian actions.
Trudeau made the announcement at the NATO leaders’ summit in Poland.
Officials say Canada would send about half that force, in addition to equipment – such as armoured vehicles. The exact size and scope of Canada’s contribution won’t be known until at least next week – when other allies come forward with their own contributions.
Trudeau also says Canada will occasionally deploy up to six CF-18s to help patrol against incursions of allied airspace – and will also continue to send a naval frigate to the region, as it has done since April 2014.
NATO says it is boosting its presence in Eastern Europe – after Russia annexed Crimea and started supporting separatist forces in Ukraine two years ago.