UkrLitPol Brigade to be fully functional by 2017
A new brigade consisting of Ukrainian, Polish, and Lithuanian troops should be fully operational in the region by 2017, Poland's Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said Monday, according to The New York Times citing The Associated Press.
"Macierewicz spoke in the eastern city of Lublin during a ceremony launching the new force that is to comprise some 4,000 troops and is intended to strengthen the defense of a region concerned about Russia's activity," The New York Times wrote.
Ukraine's Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak and his Lithuanian counterpart Juozas Olekas also took part in the ceremony
The force is to take part in UN peacekeeping missions and will also help Ukraine, which is not a NATO member state, upgrade its armed forces against the background of a constant military threat from the Russiam Federation.
Read alsoLithuania to train Ukrainian military instructors in urban warfareMacierewicz stressed the Brigade should serve as a deterrent to anyone who might threaten peace in the region.
July NATO summit's host Poland, as well as the other countries across the region, has raised the issue of the need to boost security ever since Russia seized Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014. "Warsaw would like the summit to make decisions on the permanent placement of NATO troops in the area, but some western alliance members point to a 1997 agreement with Russia barring that," reads the report.