Canada's Defence Minister Anita Anand speaks at a plenary session during the 19th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore 12 June 2022.; Credit: Caroline Chia / Reuters

(Reuters) - Canada has signed an agreement to work with Latvia and NATO partners to lead efforts to form a "combat-capable" brigade in Latvia, Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand said on Wednesday 29 June 2022.

"This is a commitment that the Canadian government is making together with Latvia to work with our allies to move towards and surge to a brigade-level force in Latvia," Minister Anand said, adding that details about the exact number of troops had not yet been determined.

"We will commit additional troops with our allies going forward, but we need to have the conversation about how many additional troops will be committed by each of the ten member nations of the Enhanced Forward Presence battle group," Minister Anand told reporters at the NATO summit in Madrid.

Canada would also be ready to provide ammunition, explosives, air defence systems and anti-tank weapons systems to the forces in Latvia, Minister Anand said.

There are nearly 1,400 Canadian Armed Forces personnel deployed in Central and Eastern Europe as part of Canada's Operation Reassurance, and Ottawa has committed to boosting that presence.

Latvia had asked for the deployment of more NATO troops in the Baltics ahead of the Madrid summit.

Earlier on Wednesday, United States President Joe Biden pledged more American troops, warplanes and warships for Europe as NATO agreed the biggest strengthening of its deterrents since the Cold War in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.