Baltic states must develop joint air defence system, Lithuanian defence minister says

Juozas Olekas
DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

Olekas underscored that the areas calling for particular attention were development of a joint mid-range air-defence system, countering hybrid threats, and stepping up cooperation with Poland and the Nordic countries, while defence cooperation of the Baltic states is enhanced, the Ministry of National Defence said.

According to the press release, the two ministers agreed at the bilateral meeting to give more focus to the coordination of their countries’ forces on the borderline and developing simpler border-crossing procedures for Allied forces.

The Lithuanian defence minister “invited Latvia to go in with the joint international efforts by sending military instructors to Ukraine.” Lithuania is contributing military instructors together with the United States.

Olekas also proposed for his Latvian counterpart to consider sending military psychologists to Ukraine in trilateral Baltic format and inviting the Nordic countries to join.

The ministers also agreed to combine effort to ensure a NATO agreement at the upcoming summit in Warsaw concerning the long-term current and additional measures of deterrence in the Baltic region, i.e., additional presence of Allied forces, pre-positioning of NATO equipment in the region, sustaining the strengthened NATO Baltic air policing mission, etc., reads the press release.

Bergmanis, who is in Vilnius on his first foreign visit, replaced Raimonds Vejonis in the post after he was elected as Latvia’s president.

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