The initial group of soldiers arrived in Lithuania at the end of December, the Defence Ministry told BNS.
“A total of more than 250 French troops are expected to come by mid-January and join the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup in Lithuania,” said Asta Galdikaitė, spokeswoman for the ministry.
In her words, the French contingent will make one of the companies of the battalion, also serving in combat support units and the battlegroup headquarters.
The French soldiers will bring along their main combat tanks Leclerc and VBCI infantry fighting vehicles. The official inauguration of the new contingent is scheduled for the end of January.
The French Armed Forces is currently seen as the best prepared in Europe.
The arrival of the French contingent will raise the NATO battalion numbers in Lithuania to more than 1,200 troops.
Headed by German troops, the unit also includes Belgian, Croatian, Luxembourgian, Dutch and Norwegian soldiers.
International battalions were stationed in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland last year in what NATO said was a response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and a higher military activity in the Baltic Sea region.
Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius presented on Saturday Lithuania’s proposals to the top US military officer on ways to implement plans on additional military measures the Alliance is taking in response to Russia‘s aggression in Ukraine. […]
NATO‘s fighter-jets patrolling Baltic airspace were scrambled five times last week to identify and escort Russian military aircraft in international airspace over the Baltic Sea, the Lithuanian Defense Ministry said on Monday. […]