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Minister of National Defence to take part in the EU Defence Ministers' meeting in Brussels
On November 16-17 Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Rasa Juknevičienė will attend the meeting of the EU Defence Ministers, Brussels (Belgium). During the meeting Defence and Foreign Affairs Ministers of the EU countries will hold a discussion with the NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Lithuanian Defence Minister will meet bilaterally with the US Ambassador to NATO HE Ivo H. Daalder.
Minister R. Juknevičienė will also take part in a work dinner with the European People's Party uniting members of the right-wing parties of the EU during which the EU Defence Ministers representing right-wing political views will discuss questions of security.
On a session on November 17 the Ministers will address the activity of the European Defence Agency, development of the EU's defence capabilities, Defence Ministers will be briefed on the progress of military operations conducted by the European Union. The Ministers will also consider stepped up EU's engagement in the on-land operations in the counter-piracy operation off the Somali coast.
The Ministers will meet for a joint session to discuss questions regarding Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Operation EUFOR - Althea, and the European Security and Defence Policy.
On November 16 a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission will be held on transformation of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry and the armed forces as well as on a wide scope of strategic defence documents.
In the framework of the EU Defence Ministers' meeting Protocol of Intent is planned to be signed by the Polish, Lithuanian and Ukrainian Defence Ministers covering formation of a joint Lithuanian, Polish and Ukrainian brigade LITPOLUKRBRIG. Lithuania supports the project which is expected to step up strategic partnership of Lithuania and Poland. It is also expected that engagement of Ukraine in to the project would induce the country to intensify relations and cooperation with NATO. Contribution of the parties to the protocol as well as formats of the brigade's employment are still at the point of consideration and decisions will come out as a result of negotiations of all the participant states.
Currently experts of national defence systems draft and settle concept of the brigade at a working level under the Polish lead. Lithuania has already voiced an agreement in principle to the concept whose main elements are as follow: multinational infantry unit, possible deployment to multinational operations, shared costs, command, coordination, training and logistics.
Danguolė Bičkauskienė, PR Advisor to the Minister of National Defence, phone 8 686 06265, 2735520