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Chiefs of Defence of Lithuania and Belgium met in Rukla

Chiefs of Defence of Lithuania and Belgium met in Rukla

On May 12 Chief of Defence of Lithuania Lt Gen Valdemaras Rupšys had a meeting with Chief of Defence of Belgium Adm Michel Hofman conducting a visit in Lithuania.  The Chiefs of Defence discussed military cooperation between Lithuanian and Belgium, activity, exercises and further plans of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group.

“We have discussed security situation, potential joint projects, current challenges that come from the need to vaccinate military personnel and fight propaganda.  I thanked Belgian Chief of Defence for the land and air military capabilities sent to strengthen deterrence in Lithuania. I am genuinely convinced that it is beneficial mutually as the Belgian troops get to know our country and hone their professional skills.  They are a kind of ambassadors to our nation: when back home, they tell about the culture and characteristics of the Lithuanians.  Some come to serve together with their families,” said Chief of Defence Lt Gen Valdemaras Rupšys after the meeting.

In his turn, the Belgian Chief of Defence expressed his delight about the long history of defence cooperation with Lithuania.   He thanked for the opportunity that the Belgian soldiers had to train and act in a different environemt which strengthened their skills and boosted morale.  

The bilateral meeting was on the agenda of the visit of the Belgian defence leadership delegation. Minister of Defence of Belgium Ludivine Dedonder and Chief of Defence of Belgium Adm  Michel Hofman were visitng Belgian military personnel deploye with the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group.

The Lithuanian-Belgian defence cooperation is developed across different areas.The efforts to enhanced NATO capacity in the Baltic region are particularly active.  

Belgium is an active participant of the NATO Air Policing Mission in the Baltic states, it was the first NATO ally to take up the task in 2004 when Lithuania became a member of the Alliance. To date, Belgium has carried six missions conducted from Šiauliai. 

Belgium has been a part of the NATO eFP Battle Group mission since 2017. The NATO eFP is integrated into the Lithuanian Armed Forces Mechanized Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf  is a direct response to the provocative and aggressive Russian actions near the borders of NATO territory  that have destabilized and caused deterioration in the security situation, increased unpredictability and caused changes in the security environment. 

Spokesperson for the Chief of Defence Capt Rūta Montvilė,
+370 (5) 278 5091, +370 682 25359, ruta.montvile@mil.lt

Photo credits: SSgt Virginijus Stonys