Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reviews an honour guard as they arrive at the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre in Yavoriv, Ukraine Tuesday July 12, 2016.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on his way to Latvia to pay a visit to Canadian troops, and underscore Canada's military dedication to NATO prior to the treaty organization summit following this week in Brussels. Trudeau informed that Canada would contribute CF-18 fighter aircraft to help guard Baltic airspace and would also provide assistance to Latvia in cyber-defense.
Questioned repeatedly about Trump's attacks on European allies and Canada, Stoltenberg acknowledged trans-Atlantic differences, but refused to say whether the US leader's attacks were damaging the alliance. Trump's trade adviser Peter Navarro went as far as telling a US talk show that there was "a special place in hell" for Trudeau, though he later walked back the remark.
Canada does have a plan to increase its defence spending over the next 10 years, he stressed - a plan that his government's own projections show will only reach 1.4 per cent of GDP by 2024. He said the 29-nation alliance supports the territorial integrity of Georgia, including its sovereignty over the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
"We certainly hope that Russian Federation will choose to become a more positive actor in world affairs than it has chosen to be in the past".
He wants them to earmark four per cent of their annual GDP for their defence budgets - double the current target of two per cent.
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Trump has threatened to pull out of the alliance entirely if other member nations don't pony up. "But most importantly we have decisions that are pushing this alliance forward and making us stronger", Xinhua quoted NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg as saying during a press conference at the end of the first day of the NATO Summit taking place in Brussels.
"We are two countries that are more closely integrated on trade and security on people-to-people ties than any two countries in the world".
"He does seem to have a habit of doing what he says he's going to do".
"Canada knows that a peaceful world, a more democratic world is good for Canada, is good for all of us and that's why we believe so deeply in NATO, that's why we stand so strongly with the trans-Atlantic alliance, and we'll continue to step up everywhere we can", said Trudeau.
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He'll meet today in Riga with Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis and President Raimonds Vejonis, lay flowers at the monument of freedom and take part in a number of activities on the military base in Adazi.