Combined Ukrainian-Polish-Lithuanian brigade could appear in autumn

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May 13, 2011, 10:06 a.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Ukrainian Defense Minister Mykhailo Yezhel

Ukrainian Defense Minister Mykhailo Yezhel has said he expects a combined brigade made up of Ukrainian, Polish and Lithuanian servicemen to be formed in autumn. Yezhel said at a meeting with his counterparts from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary in Levoca (Slovakia) on Thursday that the Ukrainian and Polish presidents had previously discussed this idea and ordered such a brigade to appear this year.

"Such a task was set to us and we discussed this issue today in order to jointly formulate tasks for our General Staff chiefs, who will have until July or August to prepare their suggestions regarding this brigade's weaponry structure. After it, I think, we will report to our commanders-in-chief before October-November about the creation of such a brigade," the Ukrainian minister said.

Ukraine and the member countries of the Visegrad Group (the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary) also plan to discuss a number of mutually beneficial projects in military and military-technological issues, he said.

"We can implement various projects together. We have agreed to outline all of the projects that could be interesting for the Visegrad Group," Yezhel said.

Implementing joint projects will greatly benefit all of the countries, he said.

"For example, today we and the Polish side discuss plans to deliver engines for Tarantul missile boats. The Polish side raised this issue additionally," the minister said.

During Yezhel's visit to Slovakia, the Ukrainian and Czech Defense Ministries signed an agreement on military geography cooperation, and the Ukrainian and Slovak Defense Ministries signed an agreement on mutual cooperation.

Asked how Ukraine's cooperation with the Visegrad Group has changed after Kyiv announced its decision to stay out of military blocs, Yezhel said that "Ukraine has not isolated itself, and we continue cooperating in all of the spheres, including military and military-technological."
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