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Ukraine’s NATO and European integration is the choice of this country which we support and will help in achieving, Minister of National Defence R. Karoblis says


“The stance of the whole state, its institutions, businesses and society is crucial for the implementation of Ukraine’s choice to integrate in NATO and the European Union. At the same time it is a common and long-term commitment to work towards it despite obstacles and difficulties. It is Ukraine’s choice and we support it and will help to reach this goal,” Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis said at the Kyiv Security Forum on April 11.


At the meeting with Minister of Defence of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak Minister R. Karoblis reiterated Lithuania’s continued support to Ukraine’s defence reform. He also pointed out the importance of the command and control chain reform, development of the NCO corps, and officer training system reform in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. “Lithuania is also ready to develop cooperation in cyber defence,” Minister R. Karoblis said at the meeting.


“The progress in Ukraine’s defence reform is visible, now it is important to keep moving forward and instil the principles of democratic control, ensure proper implementation of the already passed laws, and to pass new vitally important laws. Purposeful efforts are crucial to ensure the reform takes place at all levels – from tactical to strategic,” R. Karoblis underscored.


During the visit Lithuania’s and Ukraine’s Defence Ministries signed a letter on a Memorandum of Understanding concerning changes in Ukraine’s military personnel training. The letter establishes an unterminated expiry date of the Memorandum of Understanding.


Later the delegation will visit Lithuanian soldiers serving in the military training operation in the training centres in Desna and Berdychiv.


Since August 2015 instructors of the Lithuanian Armed Forces have been assisting Ukraine in training soldiers of its land force, special forces and military police bilaterally and together with our allies. Lithuanian soldiers are not involved in combat actions directly and are not present in the areas of the Anti-Terrorist Operation of Ukraine. Lithuania established the national Military Training Operation in Ukraine on 1 July 2017 with a Seimas mandate for deploying up to 60 soldiers to it. The operation is designed to train the Armed Forces of Ukraine.


Also, a strategic-level Lithuanian advisor is delegated to the Defence Reform Advisory Group to the Minister of Defence o Ukraine, an advisor on NCO system development has been working at the NATO Liaison Office for the third year now and an advisor on officer training reform who was appointed in February this year.


Lithuania supports Ukraine in every possible and legally permitted form, including military support. Lithuanian citizens support the endeavour – a public opinion poll carried out by request of the Ministry of National Defence in the end of last year shows that 64% of respondents are in favour of Lithuania’s military support to Ukraine.


Lithuania and our allies are providing Ukraine with assistance in its armed forces reform, training and education, Lithuania also is provides medical care and rehabilitation to injured Ukrainian soldiers in our medical care facilities.


Photos: courtesy of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine

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