Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III welcomed Latvian Minister of Defence Ināra Mūrniece to the Pentagon on April 13, 2023.
The leaders discussed the strength of the U.S.-Latvia defense relationship and ongoing efforts to support Ukraine. They discussed shared security interests in Europe, including NATO’s deterrence and defense posture, ahead of the July NATO Summit in Vilnius. The two look forward to further cooperation both bilaterally and through NATO.
Secretary Austin and Minister Mūrniece exchanged views on Russia’s horrific war against Ukraine. Secretary Austin thanked Minister Mūrniece for Latvia’s significant military assistance to Ukraine, noting that Latvia is one of the largest contributors to Ukraine relative to the size of its economy. The leaders emphasized their steadfast commitment to Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Secretary Austin also lauded Latvia’s robust defense spending and welcomed Latvia’s investment in new capabilities like long-range fires and defense infrastructure. Secretary Austin and Minister Mūrniece agreed to continue the close cooperation to deepen our defense and security relationship.