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Foreign military observers to visit Exercise Iron Wolf 2019-1


Lithuania seeks to ensure transparency and demonstrates openness, therefore military observers from Belarus, Russia, and also from Finland and Sweden have been invited to visit multinational Exercise Iron Wolf 2019–1 currently running in Lithuania. Military observers from Belarus and Sweden will conduct a visit to Lithuania on June 18–20 and will observe the exercise on June 19.


Exercise Iron Wolf 2019-1 trains roughly 4 thousand soldiers from 10 countries not only in the military training areas of Gaižiūnai (Jonava distr.) and General Silvestras Žukauskas (Švenčionys distr.), but also in civilian territories and surrounding areas.


A Belarusian arms control inspection group is also conducting a visit in Lithuania on June 17–20 on the basis of regulations of the Vienna Document 2011of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.


The Belarusian inspectors will be able to visit military training areas (General Silvestras Žukauskas, Gaižiūnai, Brigadier General Kazys Veverskis) in the chosen locations of Vilnius, Rukla and Pabradė. According to the Vienna Document 2011 regulations the visiting inspectors will also be able to fly over a selected area in a Lithuanian Armed Forces aircraft to make sure no military activities requiring prior notification are carried out. The Belarusian inspectors will also pay a visit to the National Defence Volunteer Force Headquarters to familiarise with the specificity of volunteer service.


According to regulations of the Vienna Document 2011, the arms control experts of Belarus will report to the members of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Lithuania’s compliance with provisions of the Vienna Document 2011 witnessed during the inspection.


This is the second visit by foreign arms control inspectors to Lithuania on the basis of the Vienna Document 2011 this year — arms control inspectors of the Russian Federation paid a visit in April earlier this year. Lithuania has carried four inspections so far: in the Russian Federation twice, once in Georgia, and once in Ukraine.


The Vienna Document 2011 commits the signatory countries to conduct annual information exchange on their manpower, planned capability development and defence budgets on an annual basis, and to notify other Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) countries in advance of scheduled military activities of significant scope. The states also commit to accept a designated number of inspections and evaluation visits by other member states’ military inspectors in military units in their territories.


Every OSCE member state has the right on the basis of the Vienna Document 2011 to verify if any other member has no undeclared military capabilities or has not undertaken large-scale military activities requiring prior notification.

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