NATO's leadership decided to downsize the Baltic air policing mission in order to make rational use of resources, but Lithuania should not applaud it, as it reduces the Alliance's visibility, says political scientist Gražvydas Jasutis. Meanwhile his colleague Kęstutis Girnius believes that the reinforcement has already served its purpose of reassuring the Baltic states and the decision makes good sense.
Lithuania's Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius has downplayed NATO's plans to reduce the air policing mission in the Baltic states, saying that eight fighter-jets are perfectly sufficient for efficient protection of the air-space. In his words, rotations are planned for the coming five years.
NATO will downsize the air policing mission in the Baltic states by half, with eight fighter-jets due to patrol the skies as of September, as compared with the current 16 jets, as well as one contingent left in Lithuania instead of the current two, the Alliance's spokesman confirmed on Tuesday.
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