Norway has boosted its contribution to NATO in Lithuania, and Parliament Speaker Massoud Garakhani will go down on Monday to visit Norwegian troops.
– Last week we received a reinforcement squad from the Telemark battalion that will join the company we have in Lithuania. In total, there are now approx. 200 Norwegians are in the reinforced NATO military presence in Lithuania, says Erik Ostby Andersen, force commander for the Norwegian contribution to VG.
Parliament Speaker Masoud Grakhani (AP) will participate in meetings with the heads of the Nordic and Baltic States Parliament (NB8) who will meet in the Lithuanian city of Kaunas on August 22-23. They will discuss closer and broader cooperation now that Sweden and Finland are NATO members.
Before the NB8 meeting, the Speaker of the Norwegian Parliament travels to Rukla to visit the Norwegians eFP . forces. Since 2017, Norway has contributed troops to the NATO presence, which now stands at 1,500 troops in Lithuania. VG visited the Norwegian forces In October 2021.
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Extended to 2023
The eFP was created at the request of NATO President Jens Stoltenberg after Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea in 2016. This was a clear signal to Russia and President Vladimir Putin that NATO’s Article 5 is applicable: An attack on one nation is an attack on all.
this summer Extended Force Norway’s contribution In Lithuania until 2023 due to the war in Ukraine. And last week we sent a reinforcement force from TMBN.
I look forward to visiting the Norwegian forces in Lithuania. It is important for me to say that they play an important role in the presence of NATO in the country and that they are doing very important work there. They are there to strengthen European security and preserve our democratic values, Grakhani tells VG.
Grakhani says he will discuss security policy and NATO in meetings with the heads of parliament of the Nordic and Baltic states, but he can’t say much about the details of the planned talks.
But Sweden and Finland’s requests to NATO are certainly under discussion.
– There is no doubt that it is important that Finland and Sweden have contact with Norway as a NATO country. We have made it clear that they are welcome as members of NATO, and Sweden and Finland appreciate our support, he said.
Very good reputation
Captain Eric Ostby Andersen, force commander for what Norway’s EFP says Norwegian forces are broadly composed.
“This is a brigade effort and we have people from 8 of the 9 divisions in the Northern Brigade in a cooperative system,” he says.
They cooperate closely with other NATO countries and conduct regular exercises, a stone’s throw from the Belarusian border, with the forces of other countries.
“Norwegian expertise is required and our strength has a very good reputation here and in the alliance,” says Ostby Andersen.
“Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer.”