Saeima approves the participation of the National Armed Forces in the international operation in Kosovo until the end of 2025
On Thursday, 7 September, the Saeima approved the participation of the National Armed Forces in NATO's international operation in Kosovo until 31 December 2025.
The participation of the National Armed Forces in the NATO-led international operation in Kosovo was foreseen until 31 December 2023, but in view of the growing tensions at the European borders and the need to stabilise the situation, as well as Latvia's commitment to fulfil its obligations towards NATO and its partners, the participation of the National Armed Forces in the operation needs to be extended.
"Russia's invasion in the Ukraine is a stark reminder to all democratic societies of the fragility and defence of peace and freedom. Latvian soldiers, participating in the international operation in Kosovo side by side with our NATO allies, are contributing to the development and strengthening of international security in Europe," said Defence Minister Ināra Mūrniece.
Latvia is participating in the peacekeeping operation in Kosovo with a light infantry company integrated into the US-led multinational battalion, which conducts patrolling, force protection, combat capability maintenance, as well as rapid reaction force tasks.
Based on a UN Security Council resolution adopted in 1999, the NATO-led international operation in Kosovo was launched in June 1999 after a protracted inter-ethnic conflict in the Balkan region, and its main tasks are to establish and maintain a secure environment guaranteeing freedom of movement throughout Kosovo for all citizens, regardless of their ethnic origin. The operation is also tasked with supporting and coordinating international humanitarian efforts, supporting and coordinating the development of Kosovo's security forces and supporting the development of a peaceful, stable, democratic and multi-ethnic Kosovo.
Latvia also participated in the operation from February 2000 to August 2009 with different unit sizes and specialities. The decision to resume participation in 2020 was taken at the invitation of the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe.
Head of the Media Relations Section
Military Public Affairs Department