Chief of Defence of Poland Mieczysław Cieniuch visited Ministry of National Defence

Chief of Defence of Poland Mieczysław Cieniuch visited Ministry of National Defence

October 6, Chief of General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces (Chief of Defence) Gen Mieczysław Cieniuch visited Ministry of National Defence during his official visit in Vilnius.


The guest met with the Minister of National Defence Rasa Juknevičienė, Chief of Defence Staff Maj Gen Arvydas Pocius, and other ministerial representatives.


Minister R.Juknevičienė and Chief of Defence Maj Gen A.Pocius emphasized the importance of continued NATO's Baltic Air-policing mission. In his turn Chief of Defence of Poland Gen M. Cieniuch voiced Poland's firm support and full understanding of the importance of continual Baltic Air-policing mission and that the country is prepared to contribute its personnel and assets to the mission, given a corresponding decision of the North Atlantic Council.


In the meetings matters related to establishment of trilateral Lithuanian, Polish and Ukrainian brigade LITPOLUKRBRIG were addressed. At the moment the countries draft the Memorandum of Understanding stipulating commitments of the countries to the project.


Lithuanian Defence Minister and Chief of Defence discussed with Gen. M. Cieniuch participation of Lithuanian ad Polish troops in the multinational mission in Afghanistan. The guest was familiarised with Lithuania's plans to establish a joint Police Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team with the Pennsylvania National Guard due to enter operation with the Lithuanian-led Chaghcharan PRT in Ghor this November.

The meeting authorities agreed to share experience gain in multinational ISAF operations in Afghanistan and joint military training events to tighten cooperation between the Polish and Lithuanian Armed Forces. After the meeting with ministerial and military leadership Gen M. Cieniuch paid tribute to the January 13 victims and laid flowers on the graves of Polish troops in Antakalnis Cemetery.


Gen. M. Cieniuch replaced Lt Gen Franciszek Gągor killed in the Smolensk tragedy. Before assuming current position Gen M. Cieniuch was the Advisor to the Polish Minister of Defence.


Lithuania and Poland develops active cooperation in defence sector. Since 1993 cooperative relations have been developed under a Cooperation Plan approved and updated on a regular basis by Defence Ministries of both countries.

In the first half of this year Lithuanian and Polish soldiers served together with troops from Germany, Slovakia, and Latvia in the joint EU Battle Group.


In May-August of this year around 100 Polish troops with four Mig-29 were deployed in Šiauliai Airbase to conduct duty in the NATO-led Baltic Air-policing mission. Poland also sent troops to the mission in 2006 and 2008.


Both countries also cooperate actively by sending their troops to each others' hosted multinational exercises and training events.


Some time ago Lithuania used to send troops to the multinational operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan in Polish-led military units.


In 1999-2007 a joint battalion of Lithuania and Poland was in operation. The formation served as a platform to enhance Lithuania's defence cooperation with Poland which entered NATO in 1999 and to assist Lithuanian Armed Forces to prepare for integration into NATO's military structures.