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We appreciate the contribution made by countries forming the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group in Lithuania, Minister of National Defence R.Karoblis says


“We thank and we appreciate very much the contribution made by the countries that form the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group in Lithuania. It is a demonstration of Alliance solidarity and the collective defence commitment. NATO presence and strengthening of deterrence remain relevant themes for our region,” Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis said at a meeting with permanent representatives (ambassadors) to NATO of the countries contributing troops to the NATO eFP Battalion Battle Group in Lithuania. The delegation conducted a visit in Lithuania on September 21-22 for an update on the work done in the Battle Group deployed in Rukla.


The Ambassadors took interest in the recently concluded Exercise Zapad 2017. “Although the exercise has concluded, the threat is still there, therefore deterrence in the region has to be strengthened further,” R. Karoblis underscored. Germany’s Permanent Representative Hans-Dieter Lucas said that the deployment of the NATO eFP Battalion in Lithuania demonstrated allied solidarity and unity.


Over a working dinner Minister also discussed international and regional security, relevant aspects of NATO agenda, including adaptation through enfacement of deterrence and defence, fight against terrorism and increasing defence spending. He pointed out that Lithuania was working to meet its commitments and will a lot 2.06 percent of GDP for defence next year.


The NATO delegation will also visit the NATO Force Integration Unit in Vilnius that works closely with the NATO battalion, later they will proceed to Rukla to meet with NATO eFP and Lithuanian soldiers.


The NATO eFP Battalion Battle Group has been deployed in Rukla (Jonava distr.) since the beginning of 2017. Currently the NATO eFP Battalion Battle Group in Lithuania comprises over 450 German, 100 Belgian, 250 Dutch, 200 Norwegian and 20 Luxembourg’s soldiers. Czech, Croatian, and French soldiers ae expected to join the unit next year. Integrated into and conducting joint training with the Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf, Lithuanian Armed Forces, in Rukla, the eFP Battle Group in Lithuania has Germany as the lead and framework nation.


The decision to deploy a NATO eFP Battalion along the eastern NATO border was taken in the NATO Summit in Warsaw in July 2016 in response to the changed security situation. At present the framework nations of the four robust rotational multinational eFP Battle Groups, roughly 4.5 thousand troops, deployed for deterrence and defence along the eastern Alliance’s border, in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland, are Germany, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States of America. This presence means that an attack on one ally would be treated as an attack on all. The Alliance also stepped up (tripled) the size the NATO Response Force, spearheaded by the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, to approx. 40 thousand. Also, eight small headquarters, NATO Force Integration Units are in operation.


Photo credits: A.Pliadis

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