ministry of defence copy

News Release


Technical Arrangement to support NATO Enhanced Forward Presence in Latvia


April 18, 2017 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces


Canada is a leading member of NATO that has always deployed our troops and equipment when and where they are needed most. The Government of Canada is committed to taking concrete action so that Canadians – and people around the world – can feel safe and secure in their communities. Canada will lead a robust multinational NATO battlegroup in Latvia, becoming one of four Framework Nations, as part of the Alliance’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Central and Eastern Europe.


A Technical Arrangement was signed by Brigadier-General Bruce Ploughman, Chief of Staff Readiness Canadian Joint Operations Command, and Brigadier-General Ivo Mogilnijs, Chief of Staff of the Joint Headquarters of the Latvian National Armed Forces today during a ceremony in Riga, Latvia, in the presence of His Excellency Alain Hausser, the Ambassador of Canada to Latvia, and Brigadier-General (retired) Juris Kiukucāns, Executive Secretary for Military Capability Development, Latvian Ministry of Defence.


The Technical Arrangement between Canada and Latvia outlines the general principles, conditions and terms of reference governing the establishment and operation of the NATO eFP Battlegroup.


The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces are committed to the successful establishment of the NATO eFP Battlegroup. The timely establishment of this arrangement demonstrates our resolve to work hand-in-hand with our NATO Allies.




“This event brings us one step closer to the arrival of Canadian Armed Forces personnel in Latvia, alongside our partners from Albania, Italy, Poland, Slovenia and Spain. Our leadership of the enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup reaffirms our unwavering commitment to NATO and its goal of collective security.”


Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister


“I am pleased that Canada led battlegroup will be soon deployed in Latvia, and this arrangement is the basis of its successful deployment in our country and provision of host nation support for it. Latvia is a member of the strongest military alliance in the world, and the presence of Canada led battle group in Latvia will strengthen our security significantly.”


Raimonds Bergmanis, Latvian Defence Minister


“We will soon be deploying a sizable force to Latvia to strengthen NATO’s posture in Central and Eastern Europe. The women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces are among the best in the world, and I am confident our presence will effectively promote security and stability in the region. “


General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff


Quick Facts


  • Canada will be establishing its largest sustained military presence on Allied territory since the early 1990s by leading a multinational eFP Battlegroup in Latvia as part of Operation REASSURANCE.


  • Canada will contribute a Land Task Force of up to 455 personnel including a battlegroup headquarters element, a mechanized infantry company, combat service support, vehicles and equipment based in Latvia to support NATO’s eFP in Eastern and Central Europe.


  • As announced by the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in July 2016, Canada has committed land, sea and air assets to further strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defence posture and to further assure our Allies of NATO’s commitment to our common security under Operation REASSURANCE.


  • The presence of the Canadian-led eFP Battlegroup is defensive, proportionate and fully in line with NATO’s international commitments.


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Associated Links


Boosting NATO’s Presence in the east and southeast





Jordan Owens Press Secretary Office of the Minister of National Defence (613) 996-3100


Media Relations

Department of National Defence

Phone: 613-996-2353

Toll-Free: 1-866-377-0811


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Unique Flag of Latvia arrives in Vancouver on its global journey!

  The Latvian Flag and the Latvian Diaspora


Next year, on the 18th of November 2018, Latvia will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its Declaration of Independence and the founding of the State of Latvia. This was the culmination of a long and bitter struggle against the feudal Czarist regime. It resulted in a flowering of the country, economically and culturally. Unfortunately, World War II, the occupation by Germany and then the invading forces of Communist Russia resulted in thousands of Latvians fleeing the country and becoming refugees. Most of these people were resettled to the far corners of the world, to Australia, Argentina, Canada and many other countries.

As they settled into their new lands, they kept alive the memory of their homeland. They maintained their cultural identity through Latvian societies, church congregations, choral and traditional dance groups. The collapse of communism and the Soviet system enabled Latvia, once again, to become independent and free. With this came freedom of movement. Many sought new opportunities in other parts of the world, and so a new diaspora was formed.

To commemorate the anniversary of independence, and to permit all Latvians globally to feel part of this event, a unique Flag was hand crafted in Cesis, Latvia. It is travelling throughout the world, with a commemorative book for messages and comments. This flag will be in Vancouver next week. A flag ceremony and celebration will take place from 4:00 to 6:00 P.M. at the Redeemer Lutheran church.

For more information please contact:

Andrew Krumins

Director – Latvian Society of British Columbia

Cell: 604-970-8652



Latvian Flag Ceremony in Vancouver


Saturday April 15, 2017

4:00 – 6:00 P.M.

Redeemer Lutheran Church

1499 Laurier Ave

Vancouver B.C.


Latvian Flag Information from the Latvian Cultural Ministry








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4 Credit Union Drive, Toronto, On M4A 2N8, Canada








January 28, 2017


Latvians worldwide have been invited by the Republic of Latvia to start celebrating Latvia’s 100th anniversary culminating in November 18, 2018 by organizing events as a journey towards Latvia’s 100th anniversary. Our future is in the hands of every Canadian of Latvian heritage. Let us in the spirit of “Draudzīgais aicinājums” contribute today so that we may continue to flourish tomorrow. “Draudzīgais aicinājums” or “Friendly invitation” was a campaign begun in 1935 by the then president of Latvia, Kārlis Ulmanis, requesting society to support their local school instead of giving him gifts on his name’s day. Later the support extended to all educational and cultural activities.  This yearly campaign continues to this day both in Latvia and worldwide wherever there are Latvians. Today, with the threat from Latvia’s eastern neighbour, it is more important than ever to keep alive our language and culture here in Canada.

For your information, in 2016 the Educational Cultural Foundation (ECF) of the Latvian Federation in  Canada (LNFC) distributed funds in  the  amount of  $38,600.00 supporting Latvian schools, seminars, scholarships for university students and summer educational programs, concerts, research on the history of Latvians in Canada, the ongoing work of the LNFC and a variety of other cultural projects and events.

Many thanks to the generous donors who have supported ECF’s important work in the past.  If you value what has been accomplished by the ECF, please support us now.  Also, the good works of our benefactors can continue long after they themselves are no longer with us by a testamentary donation to  the  LNAFC  Educational and  Cultural  Foundation.           All  donations  will  receive  a  charitable donation receipt.


Elizabete (Elita) Petersons                                                         Andrejs Buņķis

President                                                                                                                     Treasurer

_ _ _      _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ please cut here _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


LNFC EDUCATIONAL and CULTURAL FOUNDATION                              Reg. Nr. 0672790-2113

4 Credit Union Drive, Toronto, Ontario M4A 2N8


Yes, I wish to support the work of LNFC ECF.

My donation is: $100 □ $75□ $50 □ $25 □ or


Please make out your cheque to LNFC Educational and Cultural Foundation and send it with this cut-off portion of the letter to the LNFC ECF office.


Please inform the office of your e-mail address in order to save mailing costs and if necessary, please correct your name and address.

Thank you for your donation

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Twice a year the Occupation of Latvia museum sends out its newsletter to its contributors and supporters.


We have attached the latest newsletter so you also would be informed about the museum and also give you the opportunity to support it with your contributions ( which may be tax deductable in US and Canada ). You can also support the museum by forwarding this E-mail to your relatives, neighbors and friends. You can also support the museum by visiting it if you travel to Riga, Latvia. Thank you for your support.


The museum staff.


Web site  in english –

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2017 IIHF World Junior Championship LAT vs RUS

img_2935 img_2931 img_2930 img_2928 img_2912

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Globe editorial: Canada’s Christmas present to Moscow: A map


Alexander Darchiev, the Russian ambassador in Ottawa, is making a tempting case that international terrorism is the all-important threat of our times. After all, what is more terrifying than global terror?

In fact, conventional military invasions, by conventional militaries of conventional states are not a thing of the past. Western leaders now know that. And Russia is the reason why.

 Just two years ago, Mr. Darchiev’s boss, Vladimir Putin, forcibly annexed Crimea, though the territory is internationally recognized as part of Ukraine. Pro-Russian militants also continue to impose their own law and order in eastern Ukraine, with assistance from Russia itself.

Russia’s neighbours, until recently captive provinces of the Soviet empire, are understandably nervous. In response, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan have shown admirable readiness to contribute to a NATO force in Eastern Europe. A rotating battle group of 450 troops will be sent to Latvia.

 The idea is not to start a Third World War, but rather to avoid it. NATO wants to be very clear about its defence of Eastern Europe, so there can be no misunderstanding in Moscow. Mr. Putin annexed territory from a neighbouring sovereign state, an act unprecedented in postwar Europe, because he believed he could get away with it. He turned out to be right.

Canada and the other small NATO forces in Eastern Europe wouldn’t be able to resist a large Russian military attack. Nobody expects them to. Their purpose is to make such an attack unlikely. Even Mr. Putin would hesitate to move openly into a country in which NATO forces are stationed.

Mr. Darchiev wants Canada to turn into an “honest broker,” some kind of a neutral Switzerland between Moscow and Washington. Canada has never played such a role. We were one of the founding members of NATO, the anti-Soviet alliance. That doesn’t mean Canada always agrees with the U.S. – and a Trump-led America may lead to many disagreements, including over Russia. But Canada, while trying to keep good relations with Moscow, has always clearly sided with those threatened by the Kremlin.

A modest NATO force to draw a line in Eastern Europe makes sense.

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mazais lnak logo

The Editor – National Post

Attn: Anne Marie Owens

December 8, 2016

Reference: National Post, December 5, 2016 article “Thanks, but no thanks Canada: Not all Latvians convinced NATO mission is necessary”, by Dylan C. Robertson

Dear Editor,

It would be an understatement to say that numerous readers in the Latvian and Baltic Communities, some, as loyal readers of the National Post, are perplexed by the recent article of Dylan C. Robertson. Comments received include questions of whether this is a deliberate misrepresentation or naive muddling of facts and fiction with a political agenda. Needless to say, some readers have indicated that they will never again believe what is presented as news, especially in this age of “scandal, smear and fake news”.

Naturally, in hopes of attracting the eye of the reader, the story headings are sensational. In one edition, the title reads, “Thanks, but no thanks Canada: Not all Latvians convinced NATO mission is necessary”, while in the Ottawa Citizen version, it is, “Uncertain fate awaits troops in Latvia”. Another heading: “Bringing NATO soldiers will just upset Russia”.

The issue is swirling around the recent announcements to deploy Canadian and other NATO allied contingents to Central and Eastern Europe, including the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Though more of a symbolic deterrent in face of real and violent threats from the evolving Russian hegemony, the Allies are demonstrating a resolve to reassure their partners that the values of democracy, freedom and rule of law will be defended. Without any doubt, Latvians are grateful to Canada for its support and await Canadians with open arms. During decades of occupation, Canada and the West stood their ground in never recognizing the Russian annexation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. This will never be forgotten by the Baltic peoples and by Canadians of Baltic origin. We are proud of Canada.

To those who actually follow world events, it is clear that a war, both hot and cold, is being waged by a resurgent Russia bent on recovering prestige and territories of the Soviet Empire, and demolishing the influence of what it considers its traditional enemies, NATO, the European Union and America.

Except for a polished outer appearance, there is little to distinguish between the inherent corruption of a modern Russian rogue state, led by a mafia of KGB functionaries, and the corruption of the former elitist Communist structure, led by some of the same faces. Learning from past dictatorships, which imposed internal hardships on their own people, criminal minds divert the attention of their populations, and the world, by initiating distractions, usually with threats to their neighbours, or outright war. In the case of Putin’s Russia, witness the invasions of Georgia, the terrorist-style invasion of Ukraine, the illegal occupation of Crimea, the ensuing murders, disappearances and human rights abuses committed behind closed doors, and of course, the heinous war crimes being committed in Syria. Now, the sabre-rattling is being intensified towards the Baltics.

Hand in hand with such intrinsic criminal activity comes a massive propaganda war financed by billions in state funds. The hybrid and cyber war is a fact. It is being waged ferociously, with subtle and effective use of all media, whether in print, radio, television or internet, and yes, is extremely sophisticated. The West is just waking up to the fact of a major information, or more correctly, disinformation war being waged against it. It takes many forms. The target: foreign media, the Russian Diaspora, the internet and a wide international audience.

In Latvia, the Kremlin dogma is piped in daily through radio and satellite television. The local Russian minority, constantly exposed to the assertion that they are not respected, or in fact, are persecuted, comes to believe that they need to be saved. In the capital city of Riga, the mayor, an ethnic Russian, has had difficulty accepting the fact that there ever was a Soviet occupation of Latvia. (It should be noted that the Harmony Party in the Latvian Parliament, headed by the mayor, has a formal agreement with Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party.) Repeating the lie until it sticks, an effective propaganda technique, generations have been taught that Latvia and Latvians voluntarily joined the Soviet Union. History is easily changed, distorted and even erased.

As for language, the younger generation of Latvians, who are no longer forced to learn Russian, as in their parents’ time, find it difficult to get work in Russian controlled businesses. The propaganda machine likes to turn facts inside out and claim it is Russians who are being discriminated against. On the other hand, some Russians refuse to learn the local language, calling Latvian a “dog’s language”.

As the deployment of Canadian and NATO allied forces approaches, aggressive media provocations will increase in intensity. The intent of such misinformation is to drive a wedge between allies, to weaken them….to distract them. We are confident that Canadian forces will be prepared for any attempts to compromise and provoke them while carrying out their mission. Meanwhile, Russia continues with its primitive military threats and bullying tactics…pushing the envelope to achieve its geopolitical and economic goals.


Andris Ķesteris

President, Latvian National Federation in Canada

President, Baltic Federation in Canada

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Baltu vienības diena – Balts Unity Day

September 22 at 11:25am ·

Thursday, 22nd of September at 9.00 o’clock on Parliament Hill in OTTAWA a short event on the annual Balts Unity Day; a symbolic show of solidarity and support. The presence of all three Baltic States means a lot indeed! Thanks to all for attending! Thanks to Julijus Rakitskis, Charge d’Affaires a.i. from Lithuanian Embassy in Ottawa!

Thanks to all for attending! Thanks to Julijus Rakitskis, Charge d’Affaires a.i. from Lithuanian Embassy in Ottawa! Thanks to our good neighbours – Estonians and Estonian Ambassador Gita Kalmet for their support!  Thanks to Canada & Jamie Schmale, MP, Andris Ķesteris, Latvian National Federation in Canada & Baltic Federation in Canada & Rev. Ilmārs Zvirgzds from Ottawa Peace Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church. Kārlis Eihenbaums, Ambassador


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This section of the LNAK website is in the process of being re-built. The old English language section is largely obsolete. You can view it by clicking here.

Lai apskatītu latviešu valodā noklikšķiniet šeit.

Pour voir la version française cliquez ici.