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Minister of National Defence met with Lithuanian military personnel in Ukraine


On January 30 Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis met with Lithuanian soldiers during a visit to Yavoriv military training area in Ukraine where 16-strong group of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanised Infantry Battalion are training Ukrainian colleagues side by side with NATO allies.


“Lithuania has declared multifold support to Ukraine on numerous occasions, including in the form of military training. Lithuanian instructors not only consolidate lessons learnt but also learn from Ukrainian colleagues as they are transferring our experience to them,” Minister of National Defence R.Karoblis said.


The Lithuanian Armed Forces has been contributing to the U.S.-led Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine since 2015. The rotation formed by Algirdas Battalion soldiers is already the eighth one Lithuania has contributed to train battalions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Military instructors with Algirdas Battalion will serve at the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre (IPSC) in Yavoriv until the beginning of April. Since Lithuania continues being part of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, the group will be replaced by a new shift. Also, Lithuania will contribute to international assistance to the formation of the Military Police of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.


The Minister also met with soldiers of the Lithuanian Special Operations Forces who a assisting in the development of special forces of Ukraine. Lithuanian military are taking part in these particular programs on the basis of bilateral agreements with Ukraine and in cooperation with U.S. and other allies’ special operations forces in the framework of the U.S.-led Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine.


Over 200 Lithuanian military instructors rotated to take part in the programmes for training Ukrainian soldiers in 2016. Apart from the Lithuanian Land Force and Special Operations Forces military instructors training battalions of Ukraine’s regular forces and special operations forces soldiers, military personnel of the Training and Doctrine Command are rendering assistance regrading development of the basic military training system. In July-November 2015 Lithuanian military instructors also helped training the National Guard of Ukraine.


Lithuania supports independence and territorial integrity, and Euro-Atlantic integration aspirations of Ukraine. For a considerable period of time cooperation with Ukraine has been one of the top Lithuanian foreign and security policy priorities.


According to an opinion poll commissioned by the Ministry of National Defence in the end of 2016, Lithuanian population approve of rendering military assistance to Ukraine: 63% of respondents were in favour of fully approved of it.


On January 30-31 Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis is conducting a two-day visit in Ukraine. He is planned to meet with Minister of Defence Army General Stepan Poltorak, Vice Premier for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Secretary of National Security and Defence Council Oleksandr Turchynov, and Chief of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Army General Viktor Muzhenko. At the meetings security situation in Ukraine and bilateral and multilateral cooperation are expected to be discussed.


Photo credits: Vita Ramanauskaitė (MoD) and the Armed Forces of Ukraine

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