Šarec visiting Slovenian soldiers in Latvia, Slovakia

Ljubljana – Defence Minister Marjan Šarec is visiting the Slovenian soldiers serving in NATO’s enhanced-presence missions in Latvia and Slovakia. He is visiting the Adaži military base in Latvia today and the soldiers serving in Slovakia tomorrow, when he is also scheduled to meet his Slovak counterpart Jaroslav Nad.

The Slovenian Armed Forces have taken part in the Enhanced Forward Presence mission in Latvia since it was launched in 2017.

Šarec will meet Lieutenant Marko Gačnik, the commander of Slovenia’s 11th contingent in Latvia, part of which are also Montenegrin and Macedonian troops.

“The Slovenian Armed Forces are known for its presence in missions. In 2017, Latvia was the first mission within the EU, and today, after five years, we see that it was a very long-term and visionary solution,” the minister said.

He noted that the Slovenian troops performed an exceptionally important job and that the expectations of the partners within the NATO and the actual needs for changing the number of Slovenian soldiers in Latvia had to be considered.

Šarec was present at the soldiers’ dynamic presentation at the training ground, and met Latvian Defence Ministry State Secretary Janis Garisons on the sidelines of the visit, thanking the members of the armies of both countries for cooperation and support.

On Tuesday, Šarec will visit the 1st Slovenian contingent of 101 troops at the Lest military base in Slovakia, which the SAF joined in June under the command of Major Franc Klemen, contributing one light infantry company to the Enhanced Vigilance Activities mission.

NATO’s enhanced presence in its eastern flank provides the allies in the east of Europe additional security guarantees, especially in the wake of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.