(QHA) -

Lithuania is creating a rapid-reaction force to counter unconventional threats highlighted by the crisis in Ukraine.

The Baltic country's top general said on October 13 that 2,500 troops will be on high alert and ready to respond to "hybrid warfare" involving unconventional attacks by unmarked combatants, like those in eastern Ukraine and Crimea.

Major General Jonas Vytautas Zukas told reporters: "We must immediately increase our readiness for unplanned military actions during peacetime."

He said new threats include "manipulating national minorities, provocations, attacks by nonstate armed groups, illegal border crossing, [and] breach of military transit procedures."

Kyiv and NATO accuse Russia of using those tactics to join Crimea in March and aid pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, a charge, which Moscow denies.

NATO member Lithuania's new force is to begin operating on November 1.

QHA