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Lithuania, Netherlands Discuss Joint Efforts to Maintain Regional Security

Lithuania, Netherlands Discuss Joint Efforts to Maintain Regional Security

The defense ministers of Lithuania and the Netherlands have affirmed their commitment to strengthening security in the Baltic region.

During a meeting with his Lithuanian counterpart Laurynas Kasciunas, Dutch Minister of Defence Kajsa Ollongren revealed that Amsterdam is extending its participation in the enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group Lithuania for another two years. The NATO initiative follows a rotational model in which military members from across the alliance switch between crisis and peace modes as part of their training.

The Dutch military has maintained a presence in Lithuania as part of the battle group since 2017. Recently, Amsterdam approved deploying Dutch service members and Patriot long-range air defense systems to Lithuania for an upcoming exercise.

“Training of the Netherlands and units of the Lithuanian Armed Forces this summer will strengthen our capabilities and help to implement the Rotational NATO Air Defence Model, which was agreed to at the NATO Summit in Vilnius,” Kasciunas said.

Ollongren also announced the Netherlands’ plan to send F-35 fighter jets to protect the skies over the Baltic region as part of the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission. The aircraft will be based in Estonia starting in December.

“Our plan is to deploy three to 10 fighter jets with full maintenance staff composition,” she said.

The defense ministers also discussed assistance to Ukraine’s fight against Russia’s invasion.

According to Kasciunas, Lithuania has delivered about $656.8 million in military assistance to Kyiv since the war began.

Meanwhile, Amsterdam will deploy F-16s to Ukraine in the coming months to counter Russia’s air superiority.

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