Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian Defence Ministers discussed points of defence cooperation and stressed the importance of the Baltic contribution to the NATO Response Force, Riga (Latvia), June 16.
The Baltic Battalion was evaluated as ready for the duty in NRF-14 after the „Baltic Eagle 09" exercise coming to an end in Latvia. BALTBAT is planned to rotate to the NATO Response Force (NRF-14) in the first half of 2010.
„Standby of the trilateral Baltic Battalion in NRF-14 will make a significant joint contribution of the Baltic States into the collective military power of NATO. It is central that all the nations would implement the commitment even in the face of economic crisis and would provide solid support to each other in fulfilling this responsibility," Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Rasa Juknevičienė said.
The issue of airspace control was also on the agenda of the Baltic Defence Ministers' meeting: they approved integration of the Baltic Air Surveillance Network into the upgraded NATO airspace control system. The Ministers also looked at the areas of present cooperation: the Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL) and the Baltic Squadron (BALTRON) projects. In a joint media opportunity the leading defence officials noted that defence cooperation developed among the Baltic States could make a great example for developing cooperation in fields other than defence.
Lithuanian Defence Minister Rasa Juknevičienė and Latvian Defence Minister Imants Lieģis presented their condolences to Estonian Defence Minister Jaak Aaviksoo for the death of Estonian servicemember in Afghanistan.
Picture (MoND) - exercise of BALTBAT „Baltic Eagle 2009", Adaži Military Area, Latvia.