Lithuanian troops take part in exercise in western Ukraine

Lithuania is represented by an infantry reconnaissance platoon formed by King Mindaugas Hussar and the Grand Duke Butigeidis Dragoon Battalions and several staff officers, 38 soldiers in total, at the exercise, which is organized by the United States European Command.

The exercise is aimed at expanding and enhancing multinational military cooperation between US, NATO and Partnership for Peace (PfP) countries, interoperability among the armed forces of NATO states and partners, and at contributing to the enhancement of regional security and stability, Lithuania’s Ministry of National Defence said in a press release.

This year, the exercise will involve roughly 1,300 military personnel from 15 states – NATO and partner countries, namely, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Canada, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the US.

Rapid Trident 2014 will train the participants convoy, patrol, counter-IED and similar tactics with a particular focus on training for multinational peace support and stability operations, the ministry said.

The exercise is held, as clashes between the army and pro-Russian separatists continue in Eastern Ukraine regardless of the ceasefire announced nine days ago. Fighting near the Donetsk airport was reported on Sunday, while Kiev has accused the separatists of violating the ceasefire.

Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of supporting the uprising in Eastern Ukraine, sending troops and munitions. Moscow is still officially denying the accusations.

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