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17 mars 2015 2 17 /03 /mars /2015 21:50
photo Lithuania MoD

photo Lithuania MoD


March 17, 2015 Defense News (AFP)


VILNIUS, Lithuania — Berlin will send more than 500 troops to Lithuania for military exercises this year to underscore its NATO commitments amid tensions with Russia, the Baltic state's defence ministry said Tuesday.


A company of soldiers will be deployed to the formerly Soviet-ruled Baltic state from April to July, and separate units will arrive for exercises in July and November, the ministry said in a statement.


Defence Minister Juozas Olekas, who discussed the plan with visiting German Gen. Joerg Vollmer, said deployments were "a demonstration of NATO solidarity."


"Our allies are ready to fulfill the obligation to boost Lithuania's security together with us," Olekas told AFP.


Russia's alleged intervention in Ukraine has jangled nerves in Lithuania and fellow Baltic states Estonia and Latvia, which joined NATO in 2004 after regaining independence from the crumbling USSR in 1990-91.


A series of exercises by Russia in the Baltic region has stoked concern that the Kremlin could try to destabilize it to test NATO.


The United States has deployed around 600 troops in the Baltic states and Poland, and NATO agreed to set up command centers in the region this summer.


Another several hundred airmen from Italy, Poland and Spain are deployed in NATO air policing patrols at bases in the alliance's Baltic members bordering Russia.

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18 janvier 2015 7 18 /01 /janvier /2015 20:20
Le ministre canadien de la Défense nationale rencontrera son homologue lituanien


18.01.2015 news.gc.ca


L’honorable Rob Nicholson, C.P., c.r., député de Niagara Falls et ministre de la Défense nationale, accueillera officiellement le ministre de la Défense nationale de la Lituanie, Juozas Olekas, à Ottawa, le 19 et le 20 janvier 2015. Les ministres auront l’occasion de réaffirmer les liens étroits entre le Canada et la Lituanie, et de discuter d’un nombre de préoccupations communes en matière de défense et de sécurité, y compris les menaces continues le long des frontières de la région des États baltes et de l’Europe de l’Est.

En bref

  • Le Canada a été l’un des premiers alliés à ratifier l’adhésion de la Lituanie à l’OTAN en 2004.
  • Entre 1994 et 2009, le Canada a fourni de la formation linguistique, d’état-major et de perfectionnement professionnel à environ 450 officiers militaires lituaniens dans le cadre du Programme d’instruction et de coopération militaires (PICM) du ministère de la Défense nationale.


« En tant qu’alliés de l’OTAN, le Canada et la Lituanie entretiennent un lien inaltérable et solidement établi grâce à notre engagement envers le principe de défense collective. J’ai hâte d’échanger ouvertement des points de vue avec le ministre Olekas en ce qui concerne de nombreux enjeux relatifs à la défense et à la sécurité qui sont communs à nos deux pays. Je me réjouis également à perspective de réaffirmer l’engagement solide du Canada envers la sécurité et la stabilité de la Lituanie et de la région des États baltes. »

L’honorable Rob Nicholson
C.P., c.r., député de Niagara Falls et ministre de la Défense nationale

Liens connexes

Relations Canada-Lituanie

Le gouvernement du Canada va envoyer des CF18 en Lituanie pour la mission de police aérienne de l’OTAN dans les États baltes

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30 mars 2014 7 30 /03 /mars /2014 07:50
Photo credits: A.Pliadis

Photo credits: A.Pliadis


2014.03.21 kam.lt

On March 21 Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas and Defence Minister of France Jean-Yves Le Drian discussed security situation in the region along with possible actions of the countries in NATO and European frameworks, Eastern Partnership, and other relevant issues at a meeting in Vilnius.


„French Minister and I have discussed not only bilateral relations but a considerably broader context as well. Excellently, we have a shared view on the situation in Ukraine. Both Lithuania and France strongly condemn and disapprove the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea. We must continue promoting support to Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity in the international community and its institutions,” Minister of National Defence J.Olekas said following the meeting. Minister also underlined that the principle of collective defence was essential like never before.


With regard to the concerns about the situation in Ukraine and in solidarity with the Baltic States and the entire region, Defence Minister J. Y Le Drian conveyed the French President’s reassurance of France’s firm commitment to collective defence and its readiness to commission any capability necessary for stabilising the situation in the region, and also to make additional contributions to NATO exercises and deploying additional fighter jets to NATO’s Air Policing mission in the Baltic States.


Minister of National Defence J.Olekas expressed appreciation of France’s involvement in the region and thanked for providing as many as four rotations of fighter jets and air personnel for NATO’s air policing tasks which made France one of the most active contributors to the Baltic Air Policing mission conducted form the Lithuanian Air Force Base in Šiauliai. “This mission is of topmost importance to us, it is a symbol of the Alliance’s solidarity with the Baltic States,” Minister J.Olekas said.


Minister of National Defence also extended gratitude to France for the promise to strengthen NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission with four fighter jets and the AWACs surveillance aircraft and radar. Lithuanian Minister also underscored the weight of French contribution to NATO exercises in the region: the largest contingent in NATO Article 5 (collective defence) exercise STEADFAST JAZZ last year came from France.


Minister also agreed to intensify the countries’ cooperation in the area of cyber defence and discussed plans of deployment to multinational operations.


French Defence Minister thanked Lithuania for sending the Spartan transport aircraft of the Lithuanian Air Force to render logistic support in Operation Sangaris deployed to stabilise security situation in the Central African Republic. Lithuania joined the operation with regard to France’s request and also seeking to step up the recently intensified Lithuanian-French cooperation.


Apart from being one of the most active participants of the NATO Air Policing mission in the Baltic States, France is one of the sponsoring nations of the Lithuanian-hosted NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence in Vilnius.


Lithuania and France endorsed an agreement of defence and security cooperation during Lithuania’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second semester of 2013.

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18 octobre 2013 5 18 /10 /octobre /2013 11:50
Lithuania Calls for EU To Update Security Strategy

At right, Juozas Olekas, Lithuania's defense minister, speaks Monday during a hearing at the European Parliament. At left is Arnaud Danjean, chairman of the parliament's Security and Defence Subcommittee. (Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense)


Oct. 17, 2013 - By JULIAN HALE – Defense News


BRUSSELS — Lithuania, the current holder of the EU’s rotating presidency, wants EU leaders meeting at a summit here in December to begin updating the EU’s 10-year-old security strategy by, among other things, including cybersecurity and energy security.


It also wants to see the decline in Europe’s defense spending and EU partnerships in security and defense addressed at the summit.


“Over the past 10 years, the world outside Europe has become more unsafe, more volatile and more radical. Meanwhile, Europe itself has become more introverted, politically less ambitious and militarily less able to deal with emerging security challenges, even in neighboring territories,” Lithuanian Defense Minister Juozas Olekas told members of the European Parliament in a speech Monday.


“In the review of the strategy, Europeans will need to think well beyond the problems in our vicinity. We cannot ignore the fact that the US, which over decades was deploying considerable forces in Western Europe will, in the future, focus increasingly on other parts of the world.” Olekas said. “Therefore, Europe will need to rethink its global role, including the role of military force within its strategy.”


He added that cybersecurity and energy security “are conspicuous by their absence in the current strategy,” and yet “are the ones which are currently the most pressing for Lithuania and a number of other European countries.”


NATO has a Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn, Estonia, and an Energy Security Centre in Vilnius, Lithuania.


“The establishment of these centers is a reflection of the growing security threats in our region and beyond,” he said.


Olekas said he wants to see EU leaders discuss cybersecurity and energy security issues in greater depth at the EU summit in December.


“Their distinguishing feature is complexity. This means that the response to threats of this nature must also be complex — ranging from regulation, standard-setting and targeted investments to active diplomacy, deterrents and responses,” he said.


“The European Union, with its expertise, political and economic leverages, and with its institutions, is currently better placed than anyone to take the lead in dealing with such non-military issues as cyber threats and energy insecurity.” he said. “Naturally, problems of this kind can only be solved in close cooperation with other countries and organizations, not least NATO. … I would like to hope that also in this area, the December European Council will set ambitious guidelines for the European Union.”


With regard to EU partnerships in the field of security and defense, he bemoaned the fact that “there is no regular security dialogue between the European Union and its neighbors, let alone military cooperation programs.”


In this context, he described the use of the paid services of private companies to compensate for capability shortfalls without turning to partners first as “another deeply flawed practice in EU operations.


“Thus, the European Union Training Mission in Mali recently hired medical evacuation helicopters, at a cost of €2.5 million for six months. Next year, we are likely to pay over €5 million for this service,” Olekas said. “And yet, the European Union has not once approached its partners who have such capabilities and who might be able to provide them on much better terms.”


Referring to European Defence Agency data that says EU defense spending dropped by 10 percent from 2005 to 2010 and by as much again from 2010 to 2013, he warned that “left unfettered, this process will have profound and far-reaching consequences not just for the European defense industry, but also for Europe’s position in the world. There is no getting away from the fact that the December European Council will have to pay considerable attention to defense funding issues.”


Olekas also played down expectations in terms of new projects arising from the December EU summit.


“These days, when European countries [including Lithuania] refer to the ‘development of military capabilities,’ we are actually talking not so much about development, but rather about the management of decline. Therefore, any talk of, and calls for, the December meeting of EU national leaders to announce new, ambitious projects and initiatives cannot be really taken seriously.


“Countering the decline in actual defense spending could be an ambitious enough objective for national leaders to set themselves for the moment,” he added.


The Lithuanian defense minister also argued energy costs could be sharply reduced through more efficient technologies and processes.


“Savings made in the more efficient running of military barracks, using less fuel-thirsty vehicles or renewable resources, could be invested into the required military capabilities,” he said.

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