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Vice Minister of National Defence thanked Chief of Defence of Germany for the contribution to security of the Baltic region


On March 7 Chief of Defence of Germany General Volker Wieker is conducting a one-day visit in Lithuania. The guest discussed regional security and defence cooperation with President of the Republic of Lithuania HE Dalia Grybauskaitė, Vice Minister of National Defence Vytautas Umbrasas, and Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lieutenant General Jonas Vytautas Žukas during the visit in Vilnius.


At the meeting at the Ministry of National Defence Vice Minister Vytautas Umbrasas thanked General V. Wieker for his personal input into strengthening security and defence of the Baltic region.


“Germany is Lithuania’s strategic partner in NATO and the EU. Today the relations of our countries are stronger than ever before and the cooperation between Lithuanian and German Defence e Ministries and militaries is a great example of it,” Vice Minister V. Umbrasas said. “We are particularly grateful to Germany for the leadership in forming the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group in Lithuania. It has significantly strengthen deterrence and defence capabilities in the region.”


The meetings addressed the regional security situation and defence cooperation of Germany and Lithuania. Implementation of the modernisation of the Lithuanian Armed Forces carried out through joint procurement with Germany of wheeled infantry fighting vehicles, self-propelled artillery systems and other equipment currently underway, affiliation of the Mechanised Infantry Brigade to the Bundeswehr land division were discussed, as well as joint participation in multinational operations. Today Germany is Lithuania’s main partner in multinational operations: in 2017 Lithuanian and German soldiers took part in the EU mission SOPHIA (Lithuanian Vessel Boarding Team served aboard a German ship) and as of October 2017 a Lithuanian Force Protection Platoon are serving in composition of the German Contingent in the UN-led mission MINUSMA in Mali.


President of the Republic of Lithuania HE Dalia Grybauskaitė awarded Germany‘s Chief of Defence General V.Wieker the Cross of Commander of the Order for Merits to Lithuania in recognition of his extraordinary merit, support and personal contribution to strengthening Lithuania’s security and bilateral military cooperation.


After the meetings in Vilnius the guest will meet with soldiers and leadership of the German-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group in Lithuania during a trip to Rukla. A NATO eFP battle Group has been deployed in Lithuania since February 2017 to strengthen deterrence and collective defence in the region. The NATO unit is integrated into the Lithuanian Armed Forces MIB Iron Wolf and led by Germany. The NATO eFP Battle Group is currently manned by the third rotation including roughly 1,400 troops from Belgium, Croatia, Norway, the Netherlands, France, and Germany. Germany provides roughly half of the unit’s strength and its leadership.


Photo credits: Alfredas Pliadis (MoD)

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