Three anti-mine ships of the permanent NATO anti-mine fighting group arrived in Klaipeda port, the press service of the Lithuanian Army reports.
Ships entered the port on Thursday. The group includes the German command and support vessel Donau (A516), as well as the mine ships Fulda (M1058, Germany) and Ramsey (M110, Great Britain).
A meeting between the Commander of the Navy of Lithuania, Admiral Arunas Motskus, and the commander of the 1st group of reserve mine minesweepers of the constant readiness of NATO Henning Knudsen-Hauge (Norway) took place in the terminal of cruise and warships.
During the conversation, Hauge thanked the Lithuanian military for the opportunity to visit Klaipeda and the well-organized reception of NATO ships in the port of Klaipeda, where they provided all the necessary security measures.
The parties also emphasized the importance of the largest NATO military exercises in the Baltic Sea BALTOPS 2020, due in June.
At the end of June, Lithuania will take over command of the NATO group of anti-mine ships from Norway.
This year, Lithuania allocates the headquarters and supply ship N42 Jotvingis, as well as part of the staff of the headquarters of the naval group, for the 1st group of NATO reserve minesweepers. In addition to Jotwingis, by the end of the year, six more countries will designate their NATO mine-control ships in this group: Belgium, Estonia, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway and Germany. The Alliance Group will take part in various exercises and demining operations in the Baltic, North and Norwegian Seas.
NATO strengthens factions along Russian borders, justifying its actions with a possible “Russian threat”. At the same time, Moscow repeatedly emphasized that it was not going to attack any of the countries, and the Western Alliance is well aware of this.
As expert Ivan Konovalov noted in an interview, the Baltic countries seek spending on the military sphere, including because they fear a reduction in financial influences from NATO and the United States. According to him, if Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia reduce the percentage of GDP allocated for defense, for the Western alliance this will be a confirmation that there is no “threat from the East”.