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Baltics manipulate NATO finances to their advantage

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Message Viktors Domburs
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Three NATO member states-- Denmark, Estonia and Latvia--are sure that they have made an important step towards strengthening their security. On March 8 defence ministers of these countries opened the headquarters of Multinational Division North (MND N) in Latvia's Adazi.

It is known that during the NATO summit of July 11-12, 2018, in Brussels the letter of intent to create Multi-National Division North (MND North), a division-level headquarters led by the framework nations of Latvia, Estonia, and Denmark was signed. Besides, the letter of intent was also signed by the ministers of defence of Canada, the United Kingdom, and Lithuania.

It is interesting that the Baltic States, as well as Poland, have been seeking permanent NATO presence in their territories for a long time. They "knocked at NATO's door" and got only soft refusing. But the Baltics' authorities did not give up longer-term ambition to defend their countries by collective NATO capabilities and by using NATO funds.

Of course, all Baltic States are small countries with small populations: Lithuania just below 3 million, Latvia below 2 million, and Estonia below 1.5 million. They have correspondingly small defense budgets, and thus also correspondingly small military forces, although by the end of 2018 Latvia and Lithuania joined Estonia in meeting NATO's 2% target.

To their opinion, the only way out to ensure security is to attract NATO attention and money for these needs. Direct requests for help haven't brought desired results. Thus, the authorities decided to go the other way. They invented an initiative of creating the headquarters of Multinational Division North, conducted a PR campaign and convinced the alliance of necessity of the new HQ to be a part of the NATO troop command structure.

"The creation of Headquarters Multinational Division North in Latvia is a highly important step not only in strengthening Latvia's defence but also for the entire region's security. We are proud to be the host country," said Latvia's Minister of Defence Artis Pabriks.

"With the launch of Multinational Division North, we will achieve a new level in strengthening NATO's response capacity in standing up against the threats faced by our region. The alliance's deterrence capability and capability to defend us will increase significantly when Multinational Division North becomes operational," added Estonian Defence Minister Juri Luik.

What for? What are the benefits for involved countries? First of all, such countries as Latvia shift the responsibility to NATO and waste NATO money. It is very convenient to initiate but not to realize, to found but not to finance a project.

Does the alliance's leadership understand that the Baltics just use up NATO in order not to pay for defence out of their pocket? Latvian minister of defence Artis Pubriks is so proud of the new structure that doesn't realize that he himself sells his country's territory to foreigners for nothing, just for promise. Will NATO fight with Russia, which is by the way a nuclear state? Of course NO, but foreign troops will train and shoot in Latvia, making noise, frightening the locals, polluting forests and water. And then they will depart, ready to defend their homeland, but not Latvia! Mr. Pabriks has outsmarted himself!

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I am an engineer. I was born in Latvia. Now I live in the United Kingdom.
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