Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine form joint defence group
Defence ministers from Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine, signed an agreement at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, Friday, to form a joint military force.
From left: Lithuania's defence minister Juozas Olekas, Polish defence minister Tomasz Siemoniak, Ukraine General Valeriy Heletey and President Bronisław Komorowski: photo - PAP/Jacek Turczyk
Training exercises involving the 'LITPOLUKRBRIG' force, which will have its HQ in Lublin, south east Poland, could take place next year, President Bronislaw Komorowski said at the signing ceremony. Though the exact size of the battle group is still under consideration, Interfax reports the Polish defence ministry as saying that it could involve between 3000 and 4000 Polish troops and over 500 Ukrainian personnel, with a smaller group from Lithuania. The project has been in the planning stage since 2007 but given extra impetus since the outbreak of fighting in eastern Ukraine between pro-separatists and government forces.