NATO to create offices in six countries of Central and Eastern Europe
NATO’s Military Committee on Thursday approved the establishment of international headquarters in Lithuania and another five countries of Central and Eastern Europe and intends to submit the proposal to defense ministers, Chief of the Armed Forces of Lithuania Major General Vytautas Jonas Žukas told Baltic news agency BNS on Thursday.
"The decision is positive. These headquarters will be established," the general told the agency by phone from Brussels, according to Baltic online news site Delfi.
"The headquarters, which will be directly subordinated to the head of the Allied forces in Europe, is proposed to be set up in Vilnius near the building of the Joint Staff. The staff will consist of 50% Lithuanians and 50% international forces.
The general also said that other similar offices should be established in Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. They are to be set up this year.
The establishment of offices should be approved by NATO defense ministers in early February.
"It’s good news for Lithuania. We were able to achieve what we wanted," Žukas said.
The offices will liaise between national forces, NATO forces in Lithuania, and NATO leadership in Europe.
"During the discussions we also approved plans to create a Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) and raised the question of NATO rethinking its strategy and assessing new threats," he said.