Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian Brigade Is Being Born. Relevant Memorandum Concluded
Ministers of Defence of Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania signed a technical memorandum of understanding, specifying the conditions which would refer to the operations undertaken by the prospective LITPOLUKRBRIG unit.
The Agreement regulates the operational details regarding the unit, including the command procedures. Polish Minister of Defence, Tomasz Siemoniak, signed the memorandum during his visit to Ukraine. Ministers of the signatory nations were observing the multi-national Rapid Trident exercise, taking place in Yavoriv, in the Lviv region.
According to the provisions of the document, the brigade’s command is to reach the initial operational capability, with plans to gain full capability, within one year. As it is stressed by the Lithuanian Ministry of Defence, the unit’s command is going to be certified, and this process would be one of the basic requirements which needs to be met, before the operational activity starts.
The brigade, besides the Lublin-stationed command, would include three infantry battalions (one from each of the states), along with the supporting elements. The concluded memorandum defines, among other areas, the training conditions for the unit. The unit’s structure is going to be based on the EU combat groups model, as the Brigade is going to be used in peacekeeping and stabilization operations, including those commanded by the UN.
The main components of the Brigade are going to remain stationed at their primary permanent bases in Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine. The aim of creating the unit is to increase Kiev’s involvement in the cooperation among the Mid-Eastern European states. Secondly, the memorandum would also make it easier to tailor the shape of the Ukrainian Army, in a way that would make it possible for the Ukrainians to meet the NATO standards.
LITPOLUKRBRIG formation agreement was signed on 19th September 2014; it was then ratified by the parliaments of the signatories. The Brigade may be joined by other states, should they receive a relevant invitation. According to the announcements made by the Polish Ministry of Defence back in April, the first exercise of the unit is planned to happen this year.