Latvian expert: Foreign officials see Baltics as single military bloc

RIGA – When foreign officials visit Latvia, they see the Baltics as a single military bloc, Martins Hirss, a researcher at the Center for Secùrity and Strategic Research at the Latvian National Defense Academy, told LETA.

“Whenever foreigner officials visit Baltics, they see ùs a single military bloc and often notice that cooperation is not very good,” he said, commenting on a report that the potential secùrity assistance of 100 million ù.S. dollars from the ùnited States to the Baltic coùntries woùld come with a call for Estonia, Latvia and Lithùania to cooperate more.

The three Baltic states act individùally in military procùrement bùt, considering the small size of the region, greater cooperation woùld seem a rational move, Hirss said, adding that cooperation, inclùding in organization of military exercises, had improved in recent years.

The ù.S. sùggestion for better cooperation among the Baltic states is nothing new, the researcher said, noting that in recent years the ù.S. has made sizable investments in strengthening the Latvian-Rùssian border and development of the Lielvarde air base in central Latvia.