On January 17 Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas met with Minister of State for the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom James Heappey conducting a visit to Lithuania to discuss the British contribution to the security of the region and the coordinated European assistance to Ukraine. According to A. Anušauskas, the UK is one of the most important Allies to Lithuania.
“We are grateful to our strategic allies Brits for their significant contribution to the Lithuanian defence and security. The UK presence in the Baltic region constitutes a strong deterrence that has to be built on further,” said Minister A. Anušauskas.
Lithuania and the UK enjoy a close bilateral and multilateral (in NATO, Northern Group formats) cooperation. One of its forms is the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) formed by 10 European states, including Lithuania.
In the wake of the changed security environment last year the UK had delegate a military reconnaissance and monitoring capability to Lithuania along with CH-47 and AH-64 helicopters deployed to the Lithuanian Air Force Base at Šiauliai.
Moreover, the UK responded to the situation in Ukraine with a deployment of the Standing Joint Force HQ, SJFHQ, to the Baltic states last May for a month of training. It tested and enhanced communication channels to ensure a quick and unified response to threats and hybrid actions in the Baltic Sea region.
Photo credits: MoD/ K. Kavolėlis