The defense ministers of Lithuania and Poland, Ceslovas Stankevicius and Stanislaw Dobrzanski, signed in Vilnius yesterday an agreement on the creation of a joint battalion, LITPOLBAT. Destined for international peacekeeping operations, the battalion will be stationed at the Alytus base on the Lithuanian side of Polish-Lithuanian border, and will become operational by the beginning of 1999. The two countries will share the costs involved.
Dobrzanski also conferred with President Algirdas Brazauskas and parliament chairman Vytautas Landsbergis. The two defense ministers and the Lithuanian leaders remarked that creation of the joint battalion and additional planned steps in bilateral military cooperation will help bring Lithuania’s army closer to NATO standards. They also noted Poland’s emerging role as a connecting link between the Baltic states and NATO. (BNS, June 24-25)
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