2019.09.20 16:58

Lithuania considers sending troops to Strait of Hormuz

BNS2019.09.20 16:58

Lithuania is considering sending troops to the Strait of Hormuz to take part in an international mission to protect shipping in the Persian Gulf. 

The proposal was supported by the State Defence Council earlier this week, a spokesman for President Gitanas Nausėda confirmed to BNS on Friday.

"The State Defense Council approved the participation of Lithuanian troops in the maritime security operation in the Strait of Hormuz," Antanas Bubnelis told BNS.

Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis told BNS that Lithuania could deploy several military officers to the mission if the parliament gave the mandate.

"We have received a request to contribute to a mission or missions in the Strait of Hormuz," the minister said.

"We are considering, as an option, sending several officers to command posts or similar capabilities. But we are still at the initial stage of consideration," the minister added.

According to Karoblis, the proposal may be tabled to parliament's approval during the current autumn session.

Neither the presidential spokesman nor the minister elaborated whether Lithuania would partake in the European, or US-led operation.

So far, some European countries are unwilling to join the US-led operation, fearing it could further escalate tensions between America and Iran.

France proposes to set up a European-led mission, but no final decision has been made yet. Britain has decided to contribute to the US-led mission.

Lithuanian troops currently participate in eleven international missions.

Read more: Lithuanian to meet 2 percent GDP defence spending this year, continue military modernisation

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