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NATO Chief Marks Opening Of New Hubs In Eastern Allies

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has attended the inauguration of a military center in the Lithuanian capital which was established to respond to a perceived new security threat from Russia.

Stoltenberg joined Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite for the ceremony in Vilnius on September 3.

He described the new unit as a "big step forward toward greater solidarity, greater strength, and greater readiness."

The NATO Force Integration Unit (NFIU) is one of six small new headquarters that opened this month in Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania.

The NFIUs "will ensure that, should our forces need to move, they can move quickly and effectively," Stoltenberg said. "And they help send a very clear message: No NATO Ally stands alone.”

The new units, to be manned by around 40 staff each, are to help on the ground with exercises and planning activities.

They are expected to be fully operational by July 2016.

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