07/26/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 07/26/2019 05:54
On July 26 new Defence Attaché of Sweden to Lithuania Lieutenant Colonel Lars Eklind was accredited and outgoing Defence Attaché Lieutenant Colonel Örjan Ström farewelled at a ceremony at the Ministry of National Defence.
Acting Vice Minister of National Defence Vytautas Umbrasas thanked the outgoing Lt Col Ö. Ström for excellent work and close Lithuanian-Swedish cooperation which was particularly stepped up when the security situation in the region deteriorated. Vice Minister praised the increasing growth of cooperation between all services of the Lithuanian and the Swedish Armed Forces and particularly intensified participation of both countries' forces in joint exercises.
'The cooperation between Lithuania and Sweden is crucial because working side by side sends a strong signal to Russia that we will be prepared well for any security changes in the region,' Vice Minister V. Umbrasas stressed.
Lt Col Ö. Ström assumed the duties of Defence Attaché to Lithuania in 2016 and was an active Dean of the Foreign Defence Attaché Association in Vilnius. Vice Minister Vytautas Umbrasas awarded the outgoing Defence Attaché the Lithuanian National Defence System Medal of Merit for personal contribution to strengthening the defence cooperation of Lithuania and Sweden.
The accreditation ceremony was also attended by Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Sweden in Lithuania Minister-Counsellor Kaarlo Laakso and representatives of the National Defence System and the Ministry of National Defence.
The new Defence Attaché of Sweden graduated from Military Academy Karlberg of Sweden and the Defence University. He served in different units of the Swedish Armed Forces, was deployed to the missions in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and as a military observer - to the Middle East, India, Pakistan. Lt Col L. Eklind served at the Defence Staff of the Swedish Armed Forces before the current appointment.
Defence Attaché of Sweden to Lithuania Lt Col L. Eklind will be based in Vilnius.
The Lithuanian-Swedish defence cooperation has been active since Lithuania's restoration of independence. Prior to Lithuania's NATO accession, Sweden rendered comprehensive assistance to the Lithuanian Armed Forces. Weaponry and equipment were transferred, projects of medical assistance, fitting up sea and coastal surveillance system, air defence battalion, and air base, to name but a few, were completed, Lithuanian officers studied at Swedish military education institutions.
Lithuania and Sweden cooperate as part of various multinational security and defence formats, such as the European Union Common Security and Defence Policy, UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force, Nordic-Baltic 8, Northern Group, etc.
The present-day cooperation between Lithuanian and Swedish militaries is developed at unit level, with the closest cooperation ongoing between air and naval forces, and military medical services.
Photo credits: Giedrė Maksimovicz (MoD)