Croatian Army Ready to Deploy to Poland and Lithuania

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Croatian soldiers will be part of a NATO mission.

After the Defence Council debated future activities of the armed forces abroad and gave its support to the proposal on the participation within the programme of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence in Lithuania and Poland, consultations have been held with all relevant institutions, and at the invitation of Poland, Croatia has expressed its readiness to participate in the battle group in the country led by the United States, reports Večernji List on April 18, 2017.

The final decision on participation will be made by Parliament, said the Ministry of Defence in a statement, pointing out that at the NATO summit in Warsaw in July 2016 a number of decisions were made on strengthening the NATO defence capabilities. One of them is aimed at increasing the security of citizens of the eastern part of the Alliance.

The implementation of the concept of Enhanced Forward Presence will be executed through the deployment of four battle groups of allied forces in countries in the eastern part of the Alliance – Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland. The four battle groups will be made up of multinational allied forces led by four leading countries – Canada (in Latvia), Germany (in Lithuania), United Kingdom (in Estonia) and the United States (in Poland), according to the Ministry of Defence.

As an expression of solidarity, Croatia supports all decisions and efforts of the Alliance aimed at strengthening collective security and defence, and the Ministry will therefore launch the procedure of making appropriate decisions by Parliament on the participation in NATO activities.

While the final composition, timing and size of forces will depend on the agreement with the leading nations (Germany and USA), it is expected that about 200 members of the armed forces will participate in the battle group deployed in Lithuania, while the battle group in Poland will include up to 90 members of the armed forces. It is expected that members of the armed forces will be deployed in Poland by the end of 2017, and in Lithuania at the beginning of 2018.

Members of the Croatian armed forces will participate in peaceful activities in the framework of Enhanced Forward Presence, which is defined as a mission to achieve and maintain readiness and support for strengthening the security of the Alliance and its members. That will be reflected through joint training and increased interoperability among the allies participating in NATO activities.

All measures that will be taken will be transparent, defensive and in accordance with international agreements, stressed the Ministry of Defence.


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