On December 8–9 Chairman of the EU Military Committee (EUMC) General Robert Brieger is on his first formal visit to Lithuania since the current appointment in 2022 at the invitation of Chief of Defence Lt Gen Valdemaras Rupšys. After the welcome ceremony the guest today met with President of the Republic of Lithuania HE Gitanas Nausėda, Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas, Chief of Defence and representatives of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.
The different level meetings addressed security and defence issues on EU and NATO frameworks that are of relevance to Lithuania, the course of the war in Ukraine and its impact on the mid and long-term EU security planning. Chairman of the EU Military Committee underscored in his turn how important it was to strengthen the cooperation with EU partners, primarily NATO, in facing the challenges to the European security.
Gen R. Brieger summed up the part of the meetings he had attended by saying “the war which broke out in Ukraine underlined the importance the EU Strategic Compass action plan as a guarantor of the development of EU defence instruments for the next 10 years. I am deeply grateful to Lithuania on behalf of the 27 Chiefs of Defence I represent for the contribution in developing this EU defence project, as well as for the contribution s to EU-led missions and operations.”
Lithuanian Chief of Defence and EUMC Chairman discussed the development of rapid deployment capabilities and new command structures, Lithuania’s contribution, replenishment of the missing defence resources and acquisition, and new and potential EU missions and operations, including the Military Assistance Mission of the European Union to support Ukraine (EUMAM for Ukraine).
“As we are situated so close to the Ukraine while it is at war, and as we have a clearly recognized enemy for ages, we are also clear-eyed about the cornerstones of national security: development of the armed forces and its capability to be in lockstep with the times, defence industry challenges and unity of the Alliance and the European Union. In defence, every nation has to make the largest contribution it is able to the collective operational plan to ensure a credible deterrence, readiness, defence and self-defence if necessary,” said Chief of Defence Lt Gen V. Rupšys.
Representatives of the Lithuanian Armed Forces briefed EUMC Chairman with the progress in developing Lithuanian defensive capabilities development, implementation of NATO’s deterrence measures in the country, and Lithuania’s contribution to the EU-led military operations and training missions. They exchanged views on the security situation in the Baltic Sea region and the Lithuanian military contribution to EUMAM Ukraine which covers individual, collective and specialized training for Ukrainian troops.
EUMC Chairman also visited the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania to address key themes of the visit with members of the National Security and Defence Committee. At a meeting with Director of the Regional Cyber Defence Centre Col Romualdas Petkevičiu Gen Robert Brieger was briefed on the activities pursued at the institution. The subsidiary of the National Cyber Security Centre develops cooperation with strategic partners through cyber-threat analysis, organization of training for cybersecurity experts and conduct of scientific research on cybersecurity.
The European Union Military Committee is the highest military institution the EU formed by the Chiefs of Defence of the EU member states. It oversees EU military activities, primarily on the planning and execution of the Common Security and Defence Policy missions and operations and military capability development. The EUMC provides military advice to the EU Policy and Security Committee which shapes the Common Security and Defence Policy. The permanent EUMC Chairman is selected by EUMC members and appointed by the Council.
Photo credit: Sgt Spc 1st Class Ieva Budzeikaitė | Lithuanian Armed Forces