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Lithuanian commandos in Atalanta

(BRUSSELS2) This is a first. Lithuanians will directly participate in the European Union's anti-piracy operation (Eunavfor Atalanta) by sending an autonomous ship protection detachment (VPDa) *. The Lithuanian Defense Minister confirmed this during the last meeting of EU Defense Ministers in Nicosia at the end of September.

According to our information, the Lithuanian military should be operational by the middle of next year. Preparations, such as procedures or political approval, are underway. Lithuania had already put a foot in the operation in January 2011 by sending an officer to the command of the operation, in Northwood (near London), with a rotation every six months. Last June, the Lithuanian Parliament passed a resolution calling for a more active role for the country in Operation Atalanta, thus legitimizing this announcement.

It can be noted that several countries are thus participating, for the first time, directly in the European Union's anti-piracy operation. Romania has just sent a frigate to the area. As Ireland completes preparations for sending a VPD team.

* This concept developed during the operation aims to protect a ship (usually those of the World Food Program or Amisom) without the immediate support of a warship.

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Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).