On Sunday, November 14, Latvia began military exercises in the south-east of the country. According to Defense Minister Artis Pabriks, about 3,000 members of the National Armed Forces and National Guard units are expected to be involved in the maneuvers.
According to a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, the exercises The Decisive Point will last until December 12. Their purpose is to test the large-scale cooperation of various military and command structures, as well as logistics and mobility. According tot the Latvian Defense Ministry, member states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), including Russia and Belarus, were informed about the exercise.
The Latvian Defense Minister indirectly confirmed that the exercises were organized due to the crisis on the border with Belarus. "I have asked for military training to be launched in the Latgale region, although our Belarusian colleagues if they can be called that, would know that this is not just for fun," Pabriks told reporters.
The situation on the EU's eastern border deteriorated sharply last week. Thousands of migrants are trying to cross the border between Poland and Belarus. They spend the night in temporary tent camps in freezing cold. In recent days, groups of migrants have repeatedly tried to break through the fences and enter the EU.
According to Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, in connection with the tense situation on the border with Belarus, Poland, Latvian and Lithuania are considering the possibility to convene an emergency NATO meeting in order to use Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty.
Article 4 provides for consultations if, in the opinion of any member of the alliance, its territorial integrity, independence or security is threatened.