Strong Polish-Lithuanian alliance
- We work together when it comes to the security of Poland and Lithuania within the European Union, but above all within the North Atlantic Alliance. Thanks to the documents signed today, this cooperation will be even closer - said Mariusz Błaszczak, the Minister of National Defence in Vilnius.
On Wednesday, January 29, the head of the Ministry of National Defence paid a visit to Lithuania, where he talked about strengthening military bilateral cooperation and about the security situation in the region with his Lithuanian counterpart Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis.
Minister Mariusz Błaszczak was also a guest of the President of the Republic of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda.
Summing up the cooperation so far and talking about plans for the future, the head of the Ministry of National Defence pointed out the plans to develop cooperation between the Polish 15th Mechanized Brigade and the Lithuanian "Iron Wolf" Mechanized Brigade.
Thanks to the affiliation of units to the division command in Elbląg, Poland cooperation in the area of exercises and creation of defence plans for Poland, Lithuania and the entire region within NATO's eastern flank will be expanded.
- Joint military exercises, joint work on operational plans that are necessary to ensure security for both our nations, as well as the Polish offer for students from Lithuanian Armed Forces are all elements that create a security structure on the eastern flank of NATO - said the head of the Ministry of National Defence .
The heads of defence ministries discussed the possibilities of cooperation, in form of the combined military training and exercises and of integrated regional air defence.
Ministers also raised the issues of security and defence policy in the aspect of NATO, the EU and regional cooperation.
Defence Minister Błaszczak reminded that Poland and Lithuania spend 2% of GDP on Defence. - It allows the development of the Polish and Lithuanian Armed Forces. (...) This growing potential is a value that we will use for our common security on NATO's eastern flank. We achieve more through synergy. We agreed that in addition to our meetings in the formula of defence ministers, there will also be working meetings in groups on air defence, maritime observation, operational cooperation or joint purchases of equipment for the army - said Minister Błaszczak after his meeting with his Lithuanian counterpart.
The head of the Ministry of National Defence announced in Vilnius that the next Council of Ministers of Defence of Poland and Lithuania will take place in Warsaw.
After the talks, the ministers signed the Joint Statement of the Polish-Lithuanian Council of Defence Ministers. The Chiefs of Defence – of Poland and of Lithuania signed an accession note regarding the affiliation of the 15th Mechanized Brigade and the Iron Wolf Brigade to the Multinational Division North - East.
- All our efforts sum up into one goal. Our cooperation is very active. Poland and the Baltic States are treated in NATO as one common region with similar threats. (...) Exercises of NATO and allies in Poland, in the Baltic States and the entire region, as well as issues such as joint organisation of airspace, organization of maritime observation, lead us to very close cooperation. (...) We have achieved a lot in defence and I hope that even more will be achieved in the future - said R. Karoblis, Lithuanian Minister of Defence after the meeting.
During his visit to Lithuania, Minister Mariusz Błaszczak laid flowers at the monument "Mother and Heart of the Son" at the Vilnius Rossa Cemetery. Together with the Lithuanian Defence minister, Minister Błaszczyk also laid flowers in the chapel in front of the columbarium, where the ashes of the January Uprising insurgents are laid.
- Thank you for the fact that together we could lay flowers today in a special place, common to our history, in a place where the remains of the insurgents rest, and therefore common Polish-Lithuanian heroes - said Defence Minister Błaszczak.
The head of the Ministry of National Defence also awarded the gold medal of the Polish Army to professor Vidas Pilvinis.