In Warsaw, Foreign Ministers discuss ways to strengthen NATO’s capabilities for deterrence and defence
On 9 October in Warsaw, the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Darius Skusevičius attended the Meeting of Foreign Ministers of States of Central and Eastern Europe (B9). The countries are also member states of NATO. The Foreign Ministers agreed to further pursue concrete solutions to continue NATO’s adaptation to the new security environment.
Lithuania’s Foreign Vice-Minister stressed that an upcoming meeting of NATO’s Heads of State and/or Government in July 2018 would give an important impetus for the security enhancement process that had taken place since 2014: “We should not stop the work. NATO faces threats that have a wide geographic distribution from the Arctic Ocean to the Baltic, Black and Mediterranean seas. We need to continue working together to prepare NATO’s response to these challenges to our security.”
Skusevičius also emphasized that the Alliance’s efforts to deter a potential opponent depended on the prompt implementation of NATO’s rapid reinforcement strategy: “NATO must have its forces ready, so that they would be in the right place at the right time in the event of a crisis”.
According to Lithuania’s Foreign Vice-Minister, a large-scale Russian military exercise Zapad-2017 has once again shown that the alleged transparency of exercise, when only selective access is granted on a limited scale, has not alleviated the international community’s fears based on the fact that the exercise is of an offensive nature and on Russia’s aggressiveness toward NATO.
In Warsaw, the Foreign Ministers also adopted a statement, highlighting the importance of the transatlantic link for the future of the Alliance, emphasizing the need for a more equitable distribution of the allies’ burden through the increase in defence spending, the development of the necessary capabilities, and greater contribution to international missions and operations. The Foreign Ministers also welcomed NATO’s growing role in the fight against terrorism, closer cooperation with Finland and Sweden, and committed themselves to continue to support other partners, especially Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.
The Foreign Ministers agreed to develop cooperation, in particular with regard to hybrid threats and building resilience, involving partners from Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans countries. In addition, these efforts would strengthen the coordination of actions by the EU and NATO.