Chuck Hagel, Latvia’s Defense Minister Discuss Regional Cooperation

PentagonDefense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Latvia’s Defense Minister Raimonds Vējonis have discussed opportunities for the U.S. and the Baltic state to further regional cooperation, American Forces Press Service reported Thursday.

Pentagon Assistant Press Secretary Carl Woog said Sec. Hagel also lauded Latvia’s efforts to increase the nation’s defense budget, according to the report.

The defense leaders talked about “augmented NATO air policing” and “deployment of company-size rotational forces to the Baltic states and Poland,” among other steps that the U.S. carried out to support the Baltic region, Woog said.

“Secretary Hagel said we would continue to work with NATO to broaden support — a focal point of efforts at the NATO Summit,” Woog added.

The press secretary also re-echoed Sec. Hagel’s commitment to work with the Baltic region to bolster defense modernization programs and support interoperability with allies, American Forces Press Service reports.

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