New step in defence cooperation between Lithuania and Poland

Altough the military cooperation between Lithuania and Poland began in 2001, the last visit of the Polish defence minister Tomasz in Vilnius gived  a boost for the protection of the Baltic.

By Benoît Theunissen

Vilnius, Lithuania: The day of the 11th of April was witness of a new step in the relationship between Lithuania and Poland. The Ministry of National Defence in Vilnius (Lithuania) hosted a meeting of the Lithuanian minister of Defence Juozas Olekas and his Polish peer Tomasz Siemoniak.

A delegation from all the Armed Forced of Lithuania waiting for the visit of the Polish defence minister. © Benoît Theunissen

A delegation from all the Armed Forced of Lithuania waiting for the visit of the Polish defence minister.
© Benoît Theunissen

One of the main discussion points of the meeting was about the protection of the Baltic region. The LITPOLUKRBRIK that is in charge of this mission has been a main topic of the debates. It is a joint force shared between Lithuania, Poland and Ukrainia. This aspect of discussion should result to the signing of an agreement between the two countries in the next months. The LITPOLUKRBRIK is more commonly known as the trilateral Brigade. It is planned it gather three battalions and has its headquarters in Lublin in Poland. The command of the program will be rtotationnaly assumed by each of the nations. The purposes of the trilateral Brigade is to provide international military exercizes and to develop a permanent standby with rapid response units.

The NATO occupied also a part of the discussions with the NATO ‘s air policing mission in the Baltic States. By the way, the Lithuanian minister Olekas granted Poland for its participation in this NATO Air Policing missions in the Baltic States. Polish jets have been patrolling the Baltic skies for four times still now. It is also planned that Polish air contingents will be again deployed in 2014.

The whole meeeting happened in an obvious European background since it is planned that Lithunia will be in charge of the next EU presidency up to the 1st of July.

The Lithuanian and Polish ministers of Defence reviewing the Lithuanian troops in front of the ministry of Defence in Vilnius. © Benoît Theunissen

The Lithuanian and Polish ministers of Defence reviewing the Lithuanian troops in front of the ministry of Defence in Vilnius.
© Benoît Theunissen

The signature of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA)

To conclude the meeting the two minisiters signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) on the cooperation between the Lithuanian and the Polish Special Operation Forces. Both countries intends to develop their special forces together with joint trainings, exchanges of experience and information sharing about the evolution and the special forces aera.

All the points related to the implementation and the funding of this bilateral cooperation are clearly written in the MoA. This MoA prints a very important step in the defence cooperation of Ploland and Lithuania. A new level of effectiveness has been reached. Both countries should gain in interaction. Not only the two countries will benefits from it but also all the security of the Baltic region will know a raise of its security.