Pentagon officials doubtful about Latvia in NATO

Despite Pentagon staff suggestions that it may be unfit to join NATO, Latvia should still expect to be invited when the defense alliance meets in a summit later this month in Prague, the London-based Financial Times reports.

A senior NATO diplomat told FT correspondent Judy Dempsey that some mid-level Pentagon officials suggested to U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that the invitations to Latvia, Slovenia and Bulgaria should be reconsidered.

The military officials are concerned about Latvia “because they were far from satisfied with security arrangements on joining the alliance,” Dempsey wrote in a story posted on the newspaper’s Web site,

Latvia is one of seven countries, including Estonia and Lithuania, expected to be invited into NATO. Both the U.S. Congress and the Bush Administration have expressed support for Latvia’s entry into the defense alliance. Meanwhile, some Russian officials continue to express misgivings, although President Vladimir Putin has said his country would not stand in the way of Latvia’s entry into NATO.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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