During a meeting in Brussels, the ministers should give a green light to establishment of Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) and international military staffs in Lithuania and five other NATO members in Central-Eastern Europe.
The military staff in Vilnius should include 40-50 officers, half of them representing Lithuania and the other half delegated by the Allies.
“We expect the meeting of NATO defence ministers to make political decisions on establishment of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force and NATO’s international staffs in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. Lithuania is willing to start translating the decisions into reality,” Lithuania’s Defence Minister Juozas Olekas said in a press release circulated on the eve of the meeting.
In an effort to deter Russia, NATO last year stepped up the Baltic air-policing mission and patrol in the Baltic Sea, while the United States sent a company of troops to each of the three Baltic states and Poland.