The Seimas approved that in 2020–2021 Lithuanian soldiers will be deployed to 11 international missions and operations. Lithuanians will continue service in 10 of the ongoing operations and join one more – international maritime security operation in the Straight of Hurmuz. The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania agreed to the deployment of Lithuanian military personnel to the operation in the Straight of Hurmuz in response to the request of the United States to of America to contribute staff personnel to the coalition-led operation. Up to five Lithuanian soldiers are planned to be deployed.
“Contribution to international operations is an important expression of Lithuania’s international commitments and a means to strengthening the collective defence of NATO, Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union, peacekeeping efforts of the United Nations, and multilateral and bilateral military cooperation – especially with the strategic ally of Lithuania, the United States,” Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis says.
Lithuania will continue prioritizing participation in NATO, NATO allies’ coalitions, and EU-led international operations in 2020–2021, contributions to the UN-led operation in Mali and the Lithuanian-led Military Training Operation in Ukraine will be retained.
Lithuania will also continue contributing to the NATO-led operation in Afghanistan Resolute Support, Kosovo Force (KFOR), and the NATO Mission Iraq.
Lithuania will continue its participation in EUNAVFOR MED Operation SOPHIA in the Central part of Southern Mediterranean Sea, designed to prevent human trafficking from North Africa, to implement the weapons embargo against Libya, and to improve Libyan coast guard capabilities. Lithuania will also continue contributing to the counter-piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast efforts, Operation ATALANTA, as well as to the EU Training Mission in the Central African Republic (EUTM RCA) that helps the country to implement reforms and train national military forces. Lithuania will continue deploying soldiers to the EU Training Mission in Mali (EUTM MALI) to not only to train the Malian Armed Forces but also to provide special assistance to the Sahel Joint Force in training area.
Lithuania will continue sending military personnel to the UN-led operation in Mali, MINUSMA, launched to protect the civilian population and restore the rule of government in the northern part of Mali.
Lithuanian soldiers will continue serving in the international operation in Iraq – the US-led International Coalition for Operation Inherent Resolve to help achieve its aim – terminate the activities of the ISIL/Daesh terrorist organization and training of the local Iraqi forces. Lithuanians will continue conducting the national Military Training Operation in Ukraine aimed at helping to train the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Approx. 160 Lithuanian soldiers are planned to be deployed to multinational operations in the coming two years.
Photo: MoD archive (Lithuanians in MINUSMA)