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Vice Minister of National Defence V. Umbrasas attended EU Defence Ministers meeting in Brussels

2012.11.19
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On November 19 Vice Minister of National Defence Vytautas Umbrasas attended the European Union Defence Ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium.

 

At the meeting Defence Ministers discussed military capability development, including progress made in the development of multilateral cooperation initiatives and relevant points of the formation of the EU Battle Groups. The European Council has adopted decisions regarding the points discussed.

 

There is a proposal document formulated on the solutions regarding the EU Battle Group efficiency, employability, and generation of forces by the United Kingdom, Lithuania and Latvia. Defence Ministers have agreed to resume discussions over the mentioned issues next spring.

 

Defence Ministers also addressed the progress of the EU military operations, the EU-NATO cooperation in crisis management, especially in counter-piracy actions and stabilisation of security situation in Afghanistan. The session on the aforementioned points was also attended by NATO Secretary General.

 

At the meeting Defence Ministers approved the guidelines and budget of the European Defence Agency for 2013.

Vice Minister V. Umbrasas attended a joint work dinner of the EU Foreign Affairs and Defence Ministers where possible topics of the European Council discussion over defence issues were addressed. Such a discussion is planned to take place in the end of the following year when Lithuania will be in charge of the Presidency of the European Union Council. During the dinner Ministers also discussed the possible European Union’s operation in Mali.

 

While on visit in Brussels Lithuanian Defence Vice Minister also attended Defence Ministers meeting in a Nordic-Baltic format where points of regional cooperation were considered with a particular focus on Afghanistan.

 

A Lithuanian contingent will be assigned for standby in a EU Battle Group along with troops from the United Kingdom, Latvia, the Netherlands and Sweden in the second semester of 2013. King Mindaugas Motorised Infantry Battalion (based in Panevėžys) which will carry out the duty is currently undergoing preparations.

 

Lithuania is committed to contributing to the EU’s maritime operation ATALANTA as of the beginning of 2011. Currently Lithuania has one staff officer of the Lithuanian Navy posted to the ATALANTA Operational Headquarters at Norfolk (UK). Lithuania has declared a proposal to deploy an Autonomous Vessel Protection Detachment (AVPD) to the operation ATALANTA. AVPDs are estimated as highly efficient way of providing protection and one of the priority projects of the operation.

 

Photos by Alfredas Pliadis

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