NATO opens military center in Lithuania amid Ukraine crisis
VILNIUS – The Associated Press
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, left, shakes hands with Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite, after unveiling the NATO Force Integration Unit plaque on its headquarters building with Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, General Petr Pavel, second from left, and Lithuania's Chief of Defence, Lieutenant General Jonas Vytautas Zukas, second from right, during the inauguration of the NATO Force Integration Unit in Vilnius, Lithuania, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. AP PhotoWith fighter jets roaring overhead, NATO has inaugurated a military center in the Lithuanian capital amid growing regional concerns over Russia’s military presence, sparked by the fighting in Ukraine.
Lithuania, which like its Baltic neighbors Latvia and Estonia, was occupied for nearly five decades by the Soviet Union, has published a manual on what to do if war breaks out and volunteers are signing up for the Home Guard in record numbers.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg joined Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite on Sept. 3 to open the alliances’ force integration unit, one of six in an eastern expansion of the partnership.
The alliance says that Moscow has increased its military air activity near the Baltic countries’ borders with a growing number of intercepts conducted by NATO fighter jets.