Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will accelerate the US purchase of a joint MLRS multi-lead rocket launcher system. Denmark, in turn, will send four fighters and a frigate to the Baltic States.
– A decision has been made to accelerate the plans to purchase a missile system together with the neighboring Baltic countries, said Darius Kulieszius, national security adviser to the President of Lithuania Gitanas Nauseda after the meeting of the State Defense Council (VGT). The MLRS missile system will be acquired by the Baltic countries by 2026, not in 2028, as previously assumed.
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Kulieszius added that “solutions in the field of air defense are one of Lithuania’s defense priorities” and that “this system will significantly strengthen the country’s defense power”.
The main topic of the meeting of the Lithuanian State Defense Council, chaired by the president, was regional security in the context of tensions intensified by Russia at the borders of Ukraine. According to Kulieszius, among others, readiness of the country’s Armed Forces, the possibility of strengthening them, and the mobilization plans were discussed. It was considered necessary to strengthen mobilization readiness by organizing training and exercises.
The Council also decided to set up an interinstitutional coordination center. As Kulieszius pointed out, “it is important not only because of the events in Ukraine and the regional threat, but also important for monitoring threats to internal security.”
An aid plan for Ukraine was also approved. Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anuszauskas announced that it would involve “various activities”. Lithuania plans to increase the number of its instructors as part of the military training mission in Ukraine and provide material aid to Kiev. The Lithuanian government has pledged to provide Ukraine with the necessary equipment worth at least one million euros each year.
Denmark will strengthen NATO
Danish Defense Minister Trine Bramsen said on Monday that it would send four fighters and a frigate to the Baltic states to strengthen NATO amid the risk of a new armed conflict in Europe. The decision, supported by the opposition, was made after an extraordinary meeting of the parliamentary foreign policy committee. “It is important to stand up for the values we believe in and send a very clear signal to Russia,” said Bramsen.
According to the Danish Ministry of Defense, four F-16 fighters with 70 soldiers and the frigate Peter Willemoes with 160 sailors will be sent to the Baltic states for about three months. The task of the army is to “patrol and ensure the sovereignty of allied countries”.
In an interview with the Berlingske daily, Bramsen stated that “Denmark is ready to come to the aid of the Baltic states in the event of aggression by Russia”.
The head of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jeppe Kofod, described the situation related to the concentration of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine as “very serious”. – Our approach to Russia is two-fold. First, we conduct defense and deterrent actions together with NATO, and then a dialogue, but this requires an end to Russian provocations and threats, emphasized Kofod after the meeting of the foreign affairs committee.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA