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L. Linkevičius thanked NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe for the provided airspace security

2004.04.19

On Monday, 19 April National Defence Minister Linas Linkevičius met with General James L. Jones, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe who is currently with an official two-day visit to Lithuania.

Minister L. Linkevičius thanked General J. Jones for a rapidly taken NATO's political decision to ensure control of the national airspace of the Baltic States. Within a few days NATO fighters and operating personnel have been prepared for the deployment to Zokniai airfield. On 29 March – the day of accession of NATO's newest members – the unit undertook implementing its mission. On its turn, General Jones underlined that airspace of the new members will receive the same level of security as that of the other members.

 

The meeting also focused on preparedness to involve in international missions, creation of NATO Reaction Force. General J. Jones noted that political decisions must be in line with available resources.

 

Commander of the Lithuanian Armed Forces Major General Jonas Kronkaitis briefed the top officer on the structure of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and military training forces.

 

Lithuania has deployed 120 troops to Iraq and has no plans to increase the number. The country will not increase the 40-strong special forces contingent in Afghanistan, either. Two Lithuanian military medical personnel serve as part of the UK-established Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan.

 

However, Lithuania will consider a possibility to increase the number of troops serving on international mission in Kososvo. At the moment, 30 troops from the Lithuanian National Defence Volunteer Forces serve in this country.

 

 

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