More than 250 French troops with tanks and infantry fighting vehicles will join the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Battalion in Lithuania later this month.
French troops
© AFP / Scanpix

The initial group of soldiers arrived in Lithuania at the end of December, the Defence Ministry told BNS.

"A total of more than 250 French troops are expected to come by mid-January and join the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup in Lithuania," said Asta Galdikaitė, spokeswoman for the ministry.

In her words, the French contingent will make one of the companies of the battalion, also serving in combat support units and the battlegroup headquarters.

The French soldiers will bring along their main combat tanks Leclerc and VBCI infantry fighting vehicles. The official inauguration of the new contingent is scheduled for the end of January.

The French Armed Forces is currently seen as the best prepared in Europe.

The arrival of the French contingent will raise the NATO battalion numbers in Lithuania to more than 1,200 troops.

Headed by German troops, the unit also includes Belgian, Croatian, Luxembourgian, Dutch and Norwegian soldiers.

International battalions were stationed in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland last year in what NATO said was a response to Russia's aggression in Ukraine and a higher military activity in the Baltic Sea region.

BNS
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