Lithuania and Belarus exchange visits of arms control inspectors


6On October 12-14, arms control inspectors of the Lithuanian Armed Forces carry out visits in Belarus, while arms control inspectors of the Belarusian Armed Forces will conduct visits in Lithuania on 14-16 October. Representatives of both countries will carry out verifications visits in each other’s military units on the basis of the bilateral Lithuanian-Belarusian Agreement on Additional Confidence- and Security-Building Measures and the Vienna Document 2011 of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Ministry of National Defence of Lithuania reports.

The Bilateral Agreement of Lithuania and Belarus on Additional Confidence and Security-Building Measures stipulates annual exchange of military information in a set format between the two nations and one annual evaluation visit to a chosen each other’s military unit.

Lithuania’s inspectors will visit the 6th Mechanised Brigade deployed in Grodno, while Belarusian experts will visit the Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf based in Rukla.

Information on the numbers of personnel serving in the visited units, types and numbers of the main weaponry and equipment systems operated, and examples of the equipment for viewing will be available for the visiting arms control inspectors. Both nations’ experts will also be able to familiarise with routine activities of the units while visiting the brigades’ subordinate units and communicating with the personnel serving there.

Lithuanian and Belarusian arms control inspectors will prepare reports on the basis of regulations of the Vienna Document 2011 and findings of their inspections and circulate them among OSCE member states. Such reports include assessment of the inspected countries’ compliance with regulations of international agreements on arms control.

The Vienna Document 2011 binds participating states to conduct annual exchange of military information (AEMI) on their military capabilities, force planning, and budgets, and to exchange information on certain military activities subject to prior notification planned for the subsequent calendar year. The participating states also commit to host a designated number of military expert inspections and visits in their military units.

According to the provisions of the Vienna Document 2011, each OSCE participating state has a right to verify if another state party does not undertake limited military activities requiring advance notification or does not maintain undeclared military capabilities.

Lithuanian arms control experts have already made visits to Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia this year, while Russian, Belarusian and Swiss arms control inspections have been carried out in Lithuanian military units.

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