Lithuania raises military readiness over Russia-Ukraine tensions
Riga, Latvia, Jan 13 (EFE).- Lithuania is increasing its military readiness in response to heightened tensions between Russia, Nato and Ukraine, the Baltic country’s defense chief, Valdemaras Rupsys, said on Thursday.
“Looking from the military perspective, the threat of war in Europe is its highest since 1945,” Rupsys said in a local TV interview.
While observers are concerned that Russia may invade Ukraine, the Lieutenant general warned that “history has shown that military action may not be limited to just one country.”
General Rupsys’s comments come two days after Lithuanian defense minister Arvydas Anusauskas said on Tuesday that the country would send military aid, including lethal and non-lethal weapons, to Ukraine.
Rupsys’s remarks also echoed a statement by Polish foreign minister Zbigniew Rau who said Europe is closer to war than it has been in decades.
“It seems that the risk of war in the OSCE area is now greater than ever before in the last 30 years,” Rau said to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna.
Local media also reported that Denmark has said it is sending additional F-16 fighter jets to the Baltic countries, as well as a navy frigate.
The Baltic nations are also in talks to increase Nato troop numbers deployed in the three countries in addition to the rotating battle groups in each of the three.
Lithuania, a Nato member since 2004, has 20,565 active military personnel that can be mobilized in times of war or crisis. EFE