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Danish troops protect not only the Baltic nations, but also their own country as they conduct NATO's Baltic air-policing mission, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said during his visit to Lithuania on Monday.
Lars Lokke Rasmussen
Lars Lokke Rasmussen
© AFP / Scanpix

"Being here, we defend not only the three Baltic countries, but we defend ourselves as well," he told reporters at the Siauliai air base in northern Lithuania after visiting his country's troops.

Rasmussen underlined that this is the sixth Baltic air-policing deployment for Denmark.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė said in a press release after meeting with the Danish prime minister that "Russia's unpredictable, aggressive and openly anti-Western behavior poses a real threat to the security of the region and to the whole of Europe as clearly demonstrated by the offensive scenarios against NATO tested during its military exercise Zapad 2017".

Grybauskaitė said that a key task for NATO was "to operate as a swift and effective alliance capable of making a rapid shift to large-scale collective defense".

"It is therefore necessary to work out a reinforcement strategy for the defense of the Baltic states, prevent a possible military isolation of the region, ensure regional air defense, and reform NATO's headquarters," she said in the press release.

BNS
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