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Russia is the biggest threat to Lithuanian security and military aggression is no longer just a hypothetical possibility, according to the updated Military Strategy drafted by Lithuania's Ministry of National Defence.
Russia is 'biggest threat to Lithuania's security' - Ministry of Defence
© Reuters/Scanpix

The document also states that the security situation of Lithuania has deteriorated in recent years.

Conventional armed aggression against Lithuania or other NATO countries in the region is no longer a hypothetical possibility, according to the document. The new strategy also notes that the Lithuanian Armed Forces have to be prepared to respond to threats of non-conventional nature, like irregular armed formations or information and cyber-attacks.

"The Military Strategy of 2012 was no longer relevant in terms of security issues and the consequent new tasks for the Lithuanian Armed Forces. On the evidence of the experience of Georgia and Ukraine, the Lithuanian Armed Forces have to be ready to respond promptly either alone or together with Allies to both, conventional and non-conventional, threats," Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas said in a statement.

The strategy lays out the aspiration to have permanent presence of NATO forces and military equipment in Lithuania. The revised Military Strategy also includes provisions on rendering assistance to security reform and enhancement of local defence capabilities of the Eastern Partnership countries.

The new Military Strategy retains the main military objective from the previous document, which is to ensure a credible deterrence in concert with Allies, and to ensure individual and collective defence of Lithuania in case the deterrence fails.

The document also places emphasis on the capacity of the Lithuanian Armed Forces to implement military operations of limited scope in peacetime in response to local armed incidents and border violations.

The document has been supplemented with additional requirements to the Lithuanian Armed Forces, namely: to shift from peace to wartime structure rapidly, to maintain standing high readiness units, and to respond to threats rapidly. Readiness to cooperate with civilian institutions and ability to render any Host Nation Support needed are emphasized, as is the need to ensure efficient cyber defence of command and control structures of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.

The revised Military Strategy replaces an equivalent document that has been in force since 2012 and is the fourth Military Strategy of the Republic of Lithuania since the re-establishment of independence. The National Defence Council approved the update on March 14.

BNS
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