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Saturday, 08.03.2014, 09:12
NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence is established in Vilnius
Lithuanian, Latvian, Turkish and Italian military plenipotentiaries signed necessary documents for establishing the centre. General Mieczyslaw Bieniek, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, signed the documents on behalf of NATO.
Other contracting parties - Estonia and France - will sign the documents shortly after finishing their internal authorization procedures. The U.S. intends to join them as soon as the centre's accreditation process is finalized, reported ELTA/LETA.
At the moment, the Energy Security Centre under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is being transformed into the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence. The scope of the centre's current activities will be broadened as it will gain the status of a NATO's international military organization. It is expected that this status will be granted by the North Atlantic Council by the end of this year, thus ending formal accreditation process.
The NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence is established at the General Jonas Zemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania. International staff will consist of a group of representatives from all the countries that are engaged in the activities of the centre.
The centre will be headed by a representative delegated by the Ministry of National Defence, which will also appoint five specialists and administrative staff. In order to become fully operational, the centre will have to undergo NATO accreditation process.
The NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence will have to achieve these essential goals: support the process of developing military capabilities, improve military mission effectiveness and interoperability, and provide qualified and timely expert support to solve energy security issues.
The centre will analyse energy security issues and challenges for critical energy infrastructure protection, provide recommendations and proposals on operational energy security, military use of alternative fuels and renewable energy, and development of effective and environmentally friendly military capabilities. The centre will also deliver training and exercises.
Lithuania's initiative to establish a NATO-accredited Energy Security Centre of Excellence was backed at the Summit Meeting of NATO Heads of State and Government in Chicago on May 20-21.