Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania are planning to create a joint peacekeeping team in 2013, the Defense Ministry of Ukraine has said.
“Poland in February officially confirmed that it agreed to work with Lithuania on the creation of a military force and complete forming it this year,” First Deputy Defense Minister Oleksandr Oliynyk told a press briefing on Thursday, Interfax-Ukraine reported. For more on this story, log on to the Kyiv Post.
The move would not be the first time these countries have worked together in peacekeeping. "POLUKRBAT" a joint peacekeeping unit formed between Ukraine and Poland, operated from 1998-2010. During the Kosovo conflict, a contingent of some 30 Lithuanians participated in the unit from 2000 until 2009.
The first plans to revive the force were already in place in 2009 (by then it was already known that the team would disband after the mission in Kosovo). Bogdan Klich, then-minister of defense, signed an agreement with Lithuania and Ukraine to create a joint peacekeeping team which would include 4,500 soldiers and whose main base would be in Lublin, in eastern Poland. According to Mr Klich, the force would be fully operational by 2013 and could be used in UN, EU or NATO missions.
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