Lithuanian–Polish–Ukrainian Brigade

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Lithuanian–Polish–Ukrainian Brigade
LITPOLUKRBRIG emblem.svg
Active 2009 (formed, operational ready since 2016)–present
Country Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine
Role Participation in international peace-keeping and humanitarian operations under the auspices of international organizations
Size 4,500
Garrison/HQ Lublin, Poland
Nickname(s) LITPOLUKRBRIG
Motto(s) United for peace
Insignia
Shoulder sleeve insignia LITPOLUKRBRIG shoulder patch.svg

Lithuanian–Polish–Ukrainian Brigade (abbr. LITPOLUKRBRIG; Lithuanian: Lietuvos-Lenkijos-Ukrainos brigada, LITPOLUKRBRIG; Ukrainian: Литовсько-Польсько-Українська Бригада, ЛИТПОЛУКРБРИГ; Polish: Brygada litewsko-polsko-ukraińska) is a multinational brigade consisting of units from the Lithuanian, Polish and Ukrainian armies. Other countries are free to join the trilateral agreement.[1] An agreement on its creation was signed on November 16, 2009. The brigade was to reach operational status in autumn 2011,[2] but it was delayed; a January 2012 estimate put that date at some time in 2013.[3] The unit was finally formed on September 19, 2014.[4] In July 2015 the defense ministers of the three countries signed an agreement on the operation of the unit.[5]

The LITPOLUKRBRIG headquarters was opened in Lublin (Poland) on 25 January 2016.[5]

Lithuania and Poland are NATO members,[6] while Ukraine is not. Ukraine asked to join the NATO Membership Action Plan in January 2008 (see Ukraine–NATO relations)[7] but shelved these plans early June 2010,[8] however, Ukraine's co-operation with NATO continued.[8]

The brigade participated in the training exercise "Brave Band" in February 2016.[9]

History[edit]

First logo.

On June 14, 2007, during an EU Defence Ministers' meeting, Lithuanian, Polish and Ukrainian ministers agreed to create a multinational unit.[10] In fall of 2008 the proposed unit type was specified as a brigade.[10] The three countries did have experience in past joint military operations, most notably, through the Lithuanian-Polish Peace Force Battalion and the Polish–Ukrainian Peace Force Battalion.[10] Lithuania and Poland are NATO members, Ukraine is currently not but requested to join the NATO Membership Action Plan in January 2008.[7] On November 2009 a "Protocol of Intent" covering formation of a joint Lithuanian, Polish and Ukrainian brigade ("LITPOLUKRBRIG") was signed by Defense Minister of Lithuania, Rasa Jukneviciene, Deputy Secretary of the Polish Ministry of Defense Stanisław Komorowski (representing the indisposed Defense Minister of Poland, Bogdan Klich) and acting Defense Minister of Ukraine Valeriy Ivashchenko.[11][12][13]

On March 17, 2014, The Daily Telegraph (online edition) reported, as part of its live coverage of the 2014 Crimean crisis, that Poland’s defence ministry had announced it was re-launching plans to establish a joint Polish, Ukrainian and Lithuanian military brigade.[14]

The ministry said "defence ministers would meet later that week to discuss the formation of the brigade that would straddle Nato’s eastern border and bring Ukraine’s armed forces closer to the Western fold".[14]

In February 2016, the brigade participated in the training exercise "Brave Band".[9]

Organization[edit]

LITPOLUKRBRIG, 2016

The brigade has its headquarters and staff in Lublin,[5] Poland, with the national components stationed in their respective countries and actually gathering together only for exercises and foreign missions.[11] Only its staff officers are supposed to cooperate on a regular basis.[15] The unit is intended to be used to fulfill tasks given to it by NATO, European Union (EU) and the United Nations.[13] The operating language of the brigade is agreed to be English.[16] The unit was formed on 19 September 2014.[4] Headquarters was officially opened in Lublin on 25 January 2016, in a ceremony attended by defence ministers of the three countries.[17]

Political ramifications[edit]

The agreement between Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine was signed two days before an EU summit with Russia aimed at increasing cooperation between the two.[13] Analysts expected the formation of the brigade could anger Russia,[13] because Russia is against Ukraine joining NATO.[18] A NATO spokesman welcomed the Polish-Lithuanian plan, stating that cooperation may increase trust and capabilities.[13]

According to Poland's Deputy Defence Minister Stanisław Komorowski "This move reflects our support for Ukraine. We want to tie Ukraine closer to Western structures, including military ones".[13]

In November 2009 Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza predicted the chances that the brigade would become a reality were larger if Yulia Tymoshenko would win the Ukrainian presidential election, 2010, and smaller if Viktor Yanukovych would win them.[19] Yanukovych won the elections,[20] but preparations for the brigade continued.[21] Yanukovych stated on May 27, 2010 that Ukraine considered Ukraine's relations with NATO as a partnership, "And Ukraine can't live without this [partnership], because Ukraine is a large country".[22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania to form joint peacekeeping brigade, Kyiv Post (November 17, 2009)
  2. ^ Combined Ukrainian-Polish-Lithuanian brigade could appear in autumn, Kyiv Post (13 May 2011)
  3. ^ "defence.professionals". defpro.com. 2012-01-30. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  4. ^ a b Haroon, Asad. "Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania formed a new international military unit "LITPOLUKRBRIG" Dispatch News Desk". Dispatch News Desk. Retrieved 2016-02-09. 
  5. ^ a b c Coordination Group discusses LitPolUkrBrig participation in military exercises, Interfax-Ukraine (1 April 2016)
  6. ^ Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine create joint brigade, The Baltic Course (November 17, 2009)
  7. ^ a b Ukraine asks to join NATO membership action plan, UNIAN (January 16, 2008)
  8. ^ a b Ukraine's parliament votes to abandon Nato ambitions, BBC News (June 3, 2010)
  9. ^ a b "Brave Band: Realistic battle staff training for LITPOLUKRBRIG command starts today". Ministry of Defence of Ukraine. Archived from the original on 9 February 2016. Retrieved 2016-02-09. 
  10. ^ a b c (Polish) Robert Rochowicz, List intencyjny w sprawie LITPOLUKRBRIG podpisany, Polska Zbrojna, 16.11.2009
  11. ^ a b (Polish) Marcin Wojciechowski, Wspólna brygada Polski, Litwy i Ukrainy, Gazeta Wyborcza, 2009-11-16
  12. ^ Minister of National Defense to take part in the EU Defense Ministers' meeting in Brussels , Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Lithuania (November 13, 2009)
  13. ^ a b c d e f Poland, Lithuania eye military tie-up with Ukraine, Reuters (November 17, 2009)
  14. ^ a b "Poland plans to reform military brigade with Ukraine and Lithuania". Daily Telegraph. 17 March 2014. 
  15. ^ (Polish) Polsko-litewsko-ukraińska brygada do misji pokojowych, Gazeta Wyborcza (November 16, 2009)
  16. ^ (Polish) List intencyjny w sprawie LITPOLUKRBRIG podpisany, Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Poland (November 16, 2009)
  17. ^ "Міністр оборони України взяв участь в урочистому відкритті штабу бригади "ЛИТПОЛУКРБРИГ"" [Defence Minister of Ukraine participated in the opening of LITPOLUKRBRIG Headquarters]. mil.gov.ua (in Ukrainian). 25 January 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2016. 
  18. ^ Medvedev warns on Nato expansion, BBC News (March 25, 2008)
  19. ^ (Polish) Brygada godna pochwały, Gazeta Wyborcza (November 16, 2009)
  20. ^ Profile: Viktor Yanukovych, BBC News
  21. ^ Vice Minister of National Defence Vytautas Umbrasas met with Vice Minister of Defence Poland, Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Lithuania (March 15, 2010)
  22. ^ Yanukovych: Ukraine currently not ready to join NATO, Kyiv Post (May 27, 2010)

External links[edit]