On March 20 Finland is planned to formally join the Lithuania-initiated project for developing the European Union Cyber Rapid Response Teams (CRRTs). The corresponding Declaration of Intent will be signed by Minister of Defence of Finland Jussi Niinistö while on a formal visit in Vilnius.
Seven EU member states – Lithuania, Estonia, Spain, Croatia, Poland, Netherlands, and Romania, have signed such Declarations of Intent. In total, 13 member states are involved in the project – Lithuania, Estonia, Spain, Croatia, Poland, Netherlands, Romania and Finland are participants , and Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, and Slovenia are observers. Several more member states have expressed a wish to join the creation of the international CRRTs in the future.
Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis and Minister of Defence of Finland Jussi Niinistö will have bilateral talks Wednesday on the Lithuanian-Finnish and regional cooperation, oncoming Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and cooperation in NATO and EU formats.
The Defence Ministers are also planned to take part in the opening event of the Baltic Military Conference 2019 at the General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania and to visit the National Cyber Security Centre under the Ministry of National Defence.
Defence and security cooperation of Lithuania and Finland
The Lithuanian and the Finnish Armed Forces are cooperating in various military exercises ad multinational operations. Finnish soldiers took part in Exercises Amber Hope and Saber Strike, Lithuanian soldiers trained in Exercise Northern Coasts organised by Finland. The Finnish Air Force joined the Baltic regional air training event BRTE as of 2012, the exercise was renamed as Ramstein Alloy in 2016. Finnish military pilots and aircraft have been taking part in it annually since 2012.
Currently Lithuanian and Finnish troops are deployed together to 7 multinational operations: NATO operations and missions in Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Iraq, EU operations and missions in Mali and the southcentral part of the Mediterranean, operation of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, and the UN-led operation in Mali.
Lithuania with Finland and 7 more EU members are also contributing to the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF).