VILNIUS, the Republic of Lithuania (BulgarianMilitary.com) – The Lithuanian Ministry of Defence announced on 21st February 2019 that the Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis and his Polish counterpart Mariusz Błaszczak met in Warsaw, Poland on the same day to discuss security and defence issues and emphasised the importance of bilateral military cooperation, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
During the meeting the Ministers signed two bilateral agreements, one of which is for the establishment of a secure communication channel for radar surveillance data exchange.
The Lithuanian Minister of National Defence, Raimundas Karoblis, commented, “Ensuring air defence remains to be a significant security challenge in the region. Development of national air defence capabilities is a vital element of deterrence and defence, however, we have to develop a unified air defence system with our partners in order to ensure a reliable air defence of the entire region. And the signature of the contract on radar data exchange is an excellent example of cooperation which contributes significantly to the creation of such system.”
The other bilateral agreement signed by the Lithuanian and Polish Defence Ministers concerns the affiliation of the 15th Mechanised Brigade of the Polish Armed Forces and the Lithuanian Armed Forces Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf to the NATO Multinational Divisional North East Headquarters in Elblag, Poland.
The Multinational Division North East Headquarters is established to coordinate activities of the enhanced Forward Presence Battle Groups deployed in the Baltic States and Poland. These tasks consist of the coordination of training and increasing situational awareness in the region. In addition, the Headquarters is to be ready to carry out collective defence operations in accordance with Washington Treaty Article 5.
According to Karoblis, affiliation of Polish and Lithuanian brigades to a North Atlantic Alliance division headquarters will considerably improve the readiness of both countries to act together for defending the Suwalki Gap in case of any crisis or war. Thanks to the newly signed agreement Lithuanian and Polish Brigades can coordinate planning, conduct joint military training and exercises, as well as exchange intelligence. It is also considered that the affiliation will significantly improve the deterrence and defence of the Alliance on its eastern flank and increase the Suwalki Corridor security.
The meeting between the Defence Ministers of Poland and Lithuania was held within the framework of the formal visit of the delegation of the President of the Republic of Lithuania H.E. Dalia Grybauskaitė on 21-22 February 2019 to Poland.
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Source: Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Lithuania, NATO