On February 12, the government will consider amendments to the law, according to which officers of the National Armed Forces of Latvia (NAF) will be allowed to shoot live ammunition during exercises that take place outside the Defense Ministry’s training grounds. It is proposed to allow the use of military weapons in leased exercise areas, according to the website of the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers.
The Latvian Defense Ministry explains that “the security awareness that has changed throughout Europe” that changed after the Ukrainian events of 2014 “dictates to pay increased attention to the combat training of military personnel
In Latvia, the number of militia has increased, the training of reserve soldiers has been resumed, and the presence of the Allied forces has increased. At the same time, the intensity of the educational process of the armed forces in Latvia has increased. The national armed forces organize, among other things, combat shooting.
The Defense Ministry is currently acquiring real estate property for training needs, but it is not always advisable to buy specific territories for the organization of firing – especially if the site is to be used, for example, only a few times a year. In such situations, the National Armed Forces enter into an agreement with the owners of the territories, specifying the conditions under which they will be used. However, soldiers still did not use live ammunition outside the landfills. Now the Defense Ministry is trying to get permission to use military weapons outside the landfills, if a written agreement is signed with the site owner.
Note that even without the use of live ammunition, military exercises bring a lot of inconvenience to the people of Latvia and the neighboring Baltic States, where military maneuvers have become much more frequent.