Gratitude of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the key person in NATO’s defence planning
Linas Linkevičius, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, had a meeting with Heinrich Brauss, Assistant Secretary General of NATO, in Vilnius on 4 July 2017 and discussed NATO’s further plans to strengthen collective defence and improve resilience to propaganda, cyber and other hybrid-type attacks.
Minister Linkevičius said that the Alliance had taken many important measures to enhance the security of its members since 2014: rapid reaction force had been created; the number of exercises had risen; and Forward Presence Battalions had been deployed in the Baltic countries and Poland.
Linas Linkevičius thanked Brauss, who has been responsible for the Alliance’s defence policy and planning since 2013, for his personal efforts to strengthen the eastern wing of the Alliance and his outstanding role in implementing the decisions taken at the NATO Summit in Warsaw.
“NATO’s forward presence forces in our region imply the greatest strengthening of collective defence since the end of the Cold War,” Minister Linkevičius said.
He also underlined that the security environment was changing, with multifaceted threats to be addressed all the time; therefore NATO must improve readiness to defend its allies on land, as well as in the air, at sea, in cyber and information spaces.
Linkevičius is convinced that the NATO Summit, scheduled for next year, will be a good opportunity to assess potential threats and provide direction for the Alliance’s activities.
Minister Linkevičius believes that, in its turn, Lithuania will continue to increase defence spending, will develop necessary capabilities on its own and together with its allies, and will make a larger contribution into multinational missions and operations.
Before his meeting with the Lithuanian Foreign Minister, Heinrich Brauss gave a speech on ‘NATO’s strategic adaptation – state of affairs and prospects’ at an annual meeting of the heads of Lithuanian diplomatic representations and took part in a debate there. On 5 July he is going to be awarded a state decoration for special merits to Lithuania and his input into the security of the region.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg conducting a visit in Lithuania praised Lithuania for increasing defence spending and efforts to strengthen security in the region at a meeting with Ministers of National Defence and Foreign Affairs in the evening of June 11. The NATO leader also underlined that as Lithuania increased defence financing it also strengthened the Alliance’s resolve to enhance collective defence.