The Lithuanian Ministry of Defence announced that Lithuania joined the Multinational Training Group-Ukraine, acting under the leadership of the United States. The main objective realized by the group is to train the Ukrainian Army. Within the framework of the group-related operations, more than 10 members of the Lithuanian special operations component are going to be sent to Ukraine. These soldiers, together with other troops coming from a variety of countries, will get involved in training and organization of the Ukrainian special forces, exchanging the experiences gathered during the multi-national deployments.
Juozas Olekas, Lithuanian Defence Minister, said, in his statement for the local media, that training of the Ukrainian military units are one of the priorities of the cooperation between Vilnius and Kiev. The main goal of modernization of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is to make it possible for them to meet the NATO standards, so that they would be in possession of more capabilities within the scope of cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The defence and deterrence capacity of the Ukrainian Army may be expanded, as a result of the actions carried out, within the scope of the aforementioned initiative.
Olekas added that beside the ten members of the special forces, a group of special forces officers is already present in Kiev, acting as advisers for the representatives of the Ukrainian General Staff and the Ukrainian Special Operations Command. The task of the advisers is to offer assistance in development of a development programme for the special forces component of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Olekas stated that in the light of the current international situation, and in the light of the increased threat posed by the hybrid war, the role of the special forces has also been increased. Due to the above, as Olekas noted, more emphasis is being placed on multinational training initiatives, dedicated for the Ukrainian special forces.
In the eyes of the Lithuanian official, Lithuania is predisposed to act as an instructor within the area of the special operations. This results from the fact that the special forces units of this country show a high level of training, as well as from the fact that the special forces of Lithuania are treated as a separate armed forces component. Olekas added that training of the Ukrainian units is directly beneficial also for the Lithuanians, who stand a chance of getting acquainted with the hybrid war strategy and tactics undertaken by the potential aggressor.
Vilnius had been taking part in training of the Ukrainian Army and the National Guard, prior to the above described initiative as well.