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Baltic Chiefs of Defence meet in Lithuania


Baltic Chiefs of Defence, Lithuanian Armed Forces Commander Lt. Gen. Valdas Tutkus, Latvian Armed Forces Commander Gen. Maj. Juris Maklakovs, and Estonian Armed Forces Commander Lt. Gen. Ants Laaneots will meet for a two-day session in Birstonas on April 24.

Traditional annual meetings of Baltic Chiefs of Defence address trilateral projects and current issues of defence policy. Close cooperation between the three Baltic States began in 1992 when Baltic defence ministers signed security cooperation agreement.

Major present trilateral projects are: BALTNET ensuring Baltic airspace control; BALTRON – joint Baltic States' Squadron for neutralisation of explosives found on the Baltic seafloor; the Baltic Defence College (BATLDEFCOL) where Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian officers study along with military and civilians from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, the Ukraine and the Balkan Region; and the joint Baltic Battalion project BALTBAT-2007 resumed last year. In 2010 the Battalion should be assigned for duty in NRF-14.

The meeting will also address the Baltic Air-policing mission, other undergoing trilateral projects related to qualification training institutions (e.g. divers' school in Liepaja, courses junior officers of all components of armed forces, and such) too expensive and inexpedient to maintain for just one country because of small demand of specialists, and joint procurement helping the countries save on both financial and human resources.

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