On October 11 Vice Minister of National Defence Greta Monika Tučkutė met with State Secretary of Defence of the Netherlands Christophe van der Maat. Christophe van der Maat also visited the Dutch military personnel deployed to the Gaižiūnai Training Area, Rukla, as part of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group.
The officials discussed the security and defence cooperation between Lithuania and the Kingdom of the Netherlands: troop contribution to the NATO eFP in Rukla which is a significant boost to the security of the eastern flank of the Alliance the Netherlands and Germany commit a mechanized or mortised maneuver company with combat support and supply elements to the NATO-led battalion battle group in Lithuania every year.
“We thank the Netherlands for the unceasing contribution to the security of the Baltic region and especially Lithuania. Dutch deployment to the NATO eFP Battalion, Baltic Air Policing Mission, NATO Force Integration Unit are vital for the Baltic security. Our growing cooperation on cyber is also crucial. We hope to take forward our cooperation in air defence too soon,” underscored Vice Minister G. M. Tučkutė at the meeting.
Vice Minister said she looked forward to a step towards a robust cooperation on air defence shortly with the Rotational NATO Air Defence Model. The initiative concerns rotational presence of land-based air defence systems and enhanced aviation capabilities alongside, thus improving readiness of the Alliance’s air and missile defence capabilities.
“Since the Baltic states signed the Rotational NATO Air Defence Model Declaration at the NATO Summit in Vilnius, we have reached an important stage together on the way towards its practical implementation,” Vice Minister underscored at the meeting.
The Dutch military have been contributing to the NATO Air Policing Mission in the Baltics since 2005 and mans two officer positions at the NATO Force Integration Unit Vilnius. The Netherlands also coordinates the project on military mobility which Lithuania takes part in and adheres to the EU CRRT and Mutual Assistance in Cyber Security project coordinated by Lithuania.
Other topics discussed at the meeting were the Dutch assistance to Ukraine in its defence and the possibility to become a part of the demining coalition for Ukraine that Lithuania organizes.
Photo credit: MoD / A. Pliadis