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Military co-operation among Poland, Denmark, Germany and the Baltic States discussed in Riga


On Tuesday, 21 March, in Riga, at a meeting of Ministers of Defence of Denmark, Germany and Poland and the three Baltic States, the Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Gediminas Kirkilas in his speech welcomed the NATO Multinational Corps North East (NORTHEAST) Headquarters' decision to actively contribute in 2007 to the lead of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. According to G. Kirkilas, the task will enhance importance of the NORTHEAST Headquarters and will consolidate its operational capabilities.


The NORTHEAST Headquarters operates from Szczecin, Poland. Three Lithuanian military officers currently serve at the NORTHEAST headquarters. According to the Minister, with an active engagement of the NORTHEAST Headquarters to the lead of the ISAF, Lithuania intends to double the number of personnel serving in the ISAF.


While speaking about the European Union's defence and security policy, Defence Ministers of Denmark, Germany and Poland and the three Baltic States addressed the process of establishment of the Polish-German-Slovak-Lithuanian-Latvian Rapid Reaction Battle Group. The Lithuanian Minister of National Defence focused on some problematic issues such as a strategic air lifting and harmonisation of establishment of the EU Battle Groups with NATO Reaction Force. The Polish-German-Slovak-Lithuanian-Latvian Rapid Reaction Battle Group is expected to take over a six-month duty in the EU Rapid Reaction Force in the beginning of 2010.

The Ministers of Defence also discussed co-operation with Ukraine, countries of South Caucasus and the Balkan region. The Latvian Minister of Defence Linda Mūrniecė introduced Latvia's preparedness to the NATO Summit, which is scheduled to take place in Riga in the autumn later this year.

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