Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas discussed security and defence issues with the Chairman of the EU Military Committee

03 July 2013, Last updated at, 16:59 EEST
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Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas met with Chairman of the European Union Military Committee (EUMC) General Patrick de Rousiers | author: Ieva Budzeikaitė (MoND) and Alfredas Pliadis (MoND)

On 3 July Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas met with Chairman of the European Union Military Committee (EUMC) General Patrick de Rousiers conducting a visit in Lithuania. The meeting defence officials addressed Lithuania’s military involvement in the EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) area, preparations for the upcoming European Council discussions scheduled to take place this winter and the main priorities of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU.   

“The term of the Lithuanian EU Presidency is marked by Lithuania’s growing involvement in the CSDP area – this year Lithuania will reach the highest number of troops deployed to the EU-led military operations“, Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas noted at the meeting.

In August Lithuania will deploy an Autonomous Vessel Protection Detachment (AVPD) to the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia - Operation ATALANTA, two Lithuanian military instructors have been serving in the European Union Training Mission-Mali (EUTM Mali) alongside Nordic military personnel since March. Concurrently with the opening of the Lithuanian EU Presidency on 1 July approx. 120 Lithuanian troops began a six-month standby in the UK-led EU Battlegroup (EU BG). 

The Minister also underlined an increase in Lithuania’s involvement in the common EU projects. Late in April 2013 the three Baltic States signed an agreement with the European Defence Agency (EDA) on joint procurement of Carl-Gustav ammunition. Since 2011 Lithuania has been also participating in the common projects of the Maritime Surveillance (MARSUR) and the European Air Transport Fleet (EATF)

“During Lithuania’s term the key security and defence priority is preparation for the European Council scheduled to take place in December where the European Heads of State and Government will be addressing security and defence issues for the first time”, Olekas said.

Lithuania is organising two high-level seminars in collaboration with its partners in preparation for the December European Council. A high-level seminar on the development of the European defence market and defence capabilities will take place in Paris next week, on 12 July, while in October Lithuania has scheduled a high-level seminar in London on the future prospects of the EU Battlegroups, event being organized in cooperation with the United Kingdom.

The Minister of National Defence thanked General de Rousier for his consideration and attendance in the high-level seminar of the Eastern Partnership on 2 July where the General delivered an address.

In the course of his visit the Chairman of the EUMC met with Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lt Gen Arvydas Pocius, paid a visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and attended a meeting with members of the Committee on National Security and Defence of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania.

On 4 July the EU Military Chairman will conduct a visit to the Rukla Training Area of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and meet with Vice Minister of National Defence Marijus Velička and Commander of the Lithuanian Land Force Major General Almantas Leika. The General will also conduct a trip to the divisions of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and observe an exercise of the Lithuanian contingent which has entered standby in the EU Battlegroup.

Chairman of the EUMC General Patrick de Rousiers will be conducting the visit in Lithuania till 5 July by invitation of Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lieutenant General Arvydas Pocius.

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