23:44 GMT14 July 2020
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    Riga decided to purchase US Stinger surface-to-air missiles. Negotiations are expected to begin in 2016.

    RIGA (Sputnik) – Latvia will purchase Stinger surface-to-air missiles from the United States, Commander of the Latvian Armed Forces Raimonds Graube announced Friday.

    "If all goes according to plan, negotiations will begin next year," Graube told reporters.

    The Latvian military official did not disclose details of the proposed procurement, citing the pending adoption of the 2016 budget.

    The Latvian Defense Ministry announced its readiness to buy air defense systems earlier this month, without citing dates of purchase or naming the FIM-92 Stinger missile specifically.

    Latvia has been a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) since 2004. The military alliance currently conducts air policing missions from bases in Lithuania.

    The Latvian government has begun increasing defense spending in response to what NATO perceives as a Russian military threat since 2014.


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    air defense, Stinger missiles, Latvian Armed Forces, Raimonds Graube, Latvia, United States
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