Lithuanian president: NATO exercises send clear message

Civilians across Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, are concerned that Moscow, after displaying its military might in Georgia, Ukraine and now Syria, could have the Baltic states in its sights next.

Lithuanian president: NATO exercises send clear message

World Bulletin / News Desk

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said on Friday the allied military exercise in Lithuania Iron Sword 2016 sent "a very clear message" about NATO's unity, amid country's efforts to step up its defense capabilities. 

On Friday, Grybauskaite observed the final operations of Iron Sword 2016, one of the largest military trainings in the Baltic states attended by around 4,000 troops from 11 NATO allies. 

According to the announcement from the president's office, the exercises of "this size and scale" sent "a very clear message" about NATO's unity and readiness to defend its members. 

"We have to ensure deterrence and readiness to defend ourselves and we demonstrate this with 11 allies," Grybauskaite told local journalists during her visit at the training site in eastern Lithuania. 

In her words, the exercise in Lithuania showed that NATO allies perceive challenges similarly and are ready for collective defense. 

"The political will to defend one's country is key," underscored Grybauskaite. 

The military training Iron Sword 2016 was held in Lithuania for the third time. For two weeks, troops from Estonia, the United States, Britain, Canada, Latvia, Poland, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovenia, Germany and Lithuania have been training for defense and logistic operations, improving coordination and interoperability. 

The training was also aimed to prepare for the deployment of German-led multinational NATO battalion expected in Lithuania early next year. 

source: GlobalTimes

Last Mod: 03 Aralık 2016, 16:40
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