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Defence secretary commits to European Security

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt has spoken about European Security whilst visiting personnel deployed in the Baltic.

Penny Mordaunt travelled to NATO HQ in Brussels for the first time to discuss European Security and Operation Baltic protector. This was followed by a visit to Lithuania to visit those deployed on Baltic Protector, the first large-scale Joint Expeditionary Force maritime mission.

The defence secretary met with European Allies including her French counterpart Florence Parly. The meeting at NATO brought together a number of key allies to discuss defence in Europe.

Penny Mordaunt said: “Whilst our relationship with Europe is changing, our commitment to the continent’s security is not. For the last 70 years, we have been a leader in the most successful military alliance the world has ever known, and we will continue to do so for many years to come.”

Ms Mordaunt also announced that the UK will take on two new leadership positions within the new Military Command Structure. Later this year, the UK will provide a 2* Deputy Commander to the newly formed Joint Force Command in Norfolk, Virginia, and will fill the Director for Policy and Capabilities’ role for NATO’s International Military Staff in 2020.

She also discussed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, reaffirming the assessment that Russia has violated the terms of the agreement, whilst noting that it still has a short window to come back into compliance. Following NATO, the Defence Secretary travelled to Klaipėda, Lithuania, where she spoke alongside her Lithuanian counterpart Raimundas Karoblis at a ceremony on board HMS Albion to mark the first anniversary of the JEF since it was declared fully operational in London last year.

The UK is leading the design of NATO’s new Military Command Structure. This includes a pledge to send 1000 British military personnel to the new structure, making the UK the third largest contributor to the programme.

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