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Latvian chief of defense promoted to Lieutenant General

RIGA - Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis today promoted Chief of Defense Major General Leonids Kalnins to Lieutenant General, the president's office said.

Vejonis made Kalnins Lieutenant General based on a recommendation for promotion from Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis (Greens/Farmres) in appreciation of Kalnins' successful performance during the first six months since his appointment as the chief of defense.

"With his professional performance, Major General Leonids Kalnins has earned respect of soldiers and has successfully cooperated with the allied militaries regarding deployment of the NATO multi-national battalion in Latvia," the Latvian president said.

The Latvian parliament approved Kalnins as the new chief defense in late December 2016, and he took office on January 27, 2017.

Kalnins has been serving in the Latvian National Armed Forces since 1997. Prior to his appointment as the chief of defense, he served as the head of the Joint Headquarters.

The previous Latvian chief of defense, Lieutenant General Raimonds Graube, announced early retirement in October 2016.

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