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05 Oct - 11 Oct 2012

Each Baltic State to Contribute at Least 50 Troops to Nordic Battle Group

5 October (BNS)

The chiefs of staff of the Baltic states' defence forces agreed at a meeting in Kaunas, Lithuania that each state will contribute an at least 50-strong unit to the European Union's Nordic Battle Group in 2015.

The Latvian and Lithuanian chiefs of staff, Brig. Gen. Andis Dilans and Brig. Gen. Vilmantas Tamosaitis, assured their Estonian colleague Col. Peeter Hoppe that their countries will go along with Estonia's intention to assign at least 50 troops to the Nordic Battle Group in 2015, military spokespeople in Tallinn said.

The Nordic Battle Group is an international unit in which military from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Ireland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania participate.

The chiefs of staff also discussed the outlook for making the study and teaching opportunities offered by the Baltic Defence College better known in NATO, EU and Nordic countries, and decided to continue supporting the Tartu, Estonia-based college with high-level speakers and experts.

It was decided in the meeting to hand a four-year plan for joint exercises to the three countries' defence chiefs. Questions of joint use of training grounds, co-operation in education and training, NATO's air policing mission, and progress on the Baltic mine-hunting squadron and other co-operation projects also were discussed.

The purpose of the meeting of the chiefs of staff is to prepare for the meeting of Baltic defence chiefs in Lithuania later this fall and the meeting of the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian defence ministers at the end of the year.

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