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Hillary Clinton welcomes NATO's decision to extend Baltic Air Policing mission

Pirmadienio vakarą į Vilnių atvyko JAV valstybės sekretorė Hillary Clinton
BFL/Tomo Lukšio nuotr. / Hillary Clinton
Šaltinis: BNS

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has welcomed NATO's decision to extend the Baltic Air Policing mission in a letter to Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis.

"The United States is pleased with the decision of NATO Permanent Representatives to continue Baltic air policing beyond 2014. The mission is a good example of NATO Allies sharing responsibilities and capabilities as we provide security for each other, especially in a time of tight budgets," Clinton said in the letter.

The US secretary of state also welcomed the Baltic states' commitment to enhancing their support for the mission.

On 8 February, NATO decided to extend the Baltic Air Policing mission. The adopted document itself is classified but sources say it says mission reviews will take place beyond 2018. The Alliance had been committed to carry out the mission until 2014.

Lithuania and other Baltic states don't have air policing assets. Based on the decision by the North Atlantic Council, since March 2004, when the Baltic States joined NATO, the 24/7 task to police the airspace of the Baltic States has been conducted on three-month rotation from Lithuania's First Air Base in Zuokniai/Šiauliai International Airport.

Germany is currently in charge of the mission.

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